What is new about the new Equality Act?
ABC+D Magazinecontact supplier
What is new about the new Equality Act?
movemanSKG reviews the practical implications of the 2010 Equality Act (EA) which has replaced the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Specialist lift supplier movemanSKG advises that the Equality Act is easier to operate and understand because it simplifies and consolidates previous equality legislation.
However, it is just as important as the DDA and introduces key changes that service providers and businesses need to be aware of.
What does the EA cover and how is discrimination defined? The EA does not just cover disability; it also covers age, gender, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief and lack of belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
Discrimination under the EA falls into one of four areas; direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
Service providers and employers need to understand these.
Equality Act VS Disability Discrimination Act - what are the differences? In the main, the EA upholds much of the DDA, but there are some key differences:.
> The EA specifies a trigger point where a service provider must make reasonable adjustments for the less able (previously the only way to settle this was in court).This trigger point applies when a less able person would be at a significant disadvantage compared to an able-bodied person if the adjustment was not made.
> The DDA only protected people from direct discrimination in employment and related areas.The EA extends this protection to other areas, such as the supply of goods, facilities and services.
> The EA improves protection from discrimination relating to someone's disability.
> The EA introduces the principle of indirect discrimination (e.g where something that affects everyone in the same way is disadvantageous to a disabled person).
> The EA extends protection from disability-related harassment to areas beyond work (under the DDA this was limited to work).
> The EA provides protection from harassment and direct disability discrimination where this relates to somebody's association to a less able person or to a false perception that someone is less able.
> The EA limits the enquiries potential employers can make when hiring new staff.
This is to help prevent less able candidates being removed from the process early.
What is the legal definition of disability?.
Under the EA, a disabled person is someone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
The EA's definition of a disability is slightly different to the DDA's because under the DDA, a person would have to prove that an adversely affected normal day-to-day activity involved one of a list of capacities, such as speech, mobility or hearing.
What does the EA mean in practice?.
In practice, the EA makes it easier for someone to show they are disabled and bring a claim against a service provider or employer.
This means companies and organisations must be extra vigilant in making premises, facilities, services and goods accessible to those with disabilities.
movemanSKG supplies a wide range of platform lifts that act as access routes for wheelchairs users.
There are various models for both internal and external applications, which:.
> Lift 400kg up 13m.
> Come in various colours and finishes to blend seamlessly with any environment.
> Are available with full glazing in the shaft for extra visual appeal.
> Feature tactile, illuminated push-button controls that allow wheelchair users to operate the unit independently.
> Incorporate controlled acceleration and deceleration to eliminate jolting between landings.
> Incorporate all electrical equipment to eliminate the need for a separate machine room or ugly cabinet.
> Are compact in size, meaning they fit into spaces where other lifts will not.
> Users can relocate to a different site within a building to suit changing access requirements.
> Have the option of fire-rated doors, various entry configurations, key isolation systems, a hands-free intercom unit and remote landing controls.
For more detailed practical advice on the Equality Act for workers, employers, service users, service providers, education providers and students visit The Equality and Human Rights Commission website at: www.equalityhumanrights.com
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