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UK Equality Act 2010: Disability Information

  • Synopsis: Last Revised/Updated: 2015-02-28 - Information regarding laws rules and rights relating to the UK Equality Act 2010 to end discrimination against the disabled.


NOTE: The U.K. Disability Discrimination Act is no longer in use - it is now known as the Equality Act 2010. From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). However, the Disability Equality Duty in the DDA continues to apply. The Equality Act 2010 is the law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society. This page will be updated in the near future to reflect these changes.

The Equality Act 2010 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom, and has the same goals as the four major EU Equal Treatment Directives, whose provisions it mirrors and implements. The primary purpose of the Act is to codify the complicated and numerous array of Acts and Regulations, which formed the basis of anti-discrimination law in Great Britain. It requires equal treatment in access to employment as well as private and public services, regardless of the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995)

A UK parliamentary act of 1995, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport.

The DDA is a civil rights law.

Other countries use constitutional, social rights or criminal law to make similar provisions.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission provides support for the Act. Equivalent legislation exists in Northern Ireland, which is enforced by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission.

The DDA 1995 departs from the fundamental principles of older UK discrimination law (the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976). These Acts depend on the concepts of direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. However, these concepts are insufficient to deal with the issues of disability discrimination.

The UK Disability Discrimination Act applies to all employers and everyone who provides a service to the public, except the Armed Forces.

It is a law designed to end discrimination against disabled people. It also meets the needs of small to medium sized businesses because it is flexible enough to take account of your business's individual circumstances.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that many disabled people face. This Act has been significantly extended, including by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

The UK Disability Discrimination Act gives disabled people rights in the areas of:

DDA Meaning of "disability" and "disabled person"

(1) Subject to the provisions of Schedule 1, a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

(2) In this Act "disabled person" means a person who has a disability.

The duties on service providers have been introduced in three stages:

Quick Facts: Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 has replaced the Equal Pay Act 1970, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.

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