What Is The Disability Discrimination Act United Kingdom
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is a piece of legislation in the United Kingdom that protects the rights of people with disabilities and seeks to eliminate discrimination against them. The DDA applies to all areas of life, including employment, education, and access to goods, facilities, and services.
The DDA was first introduced in 1995 and has been amended several times since then, most recently in 2010 with the Equality Act. The Equality Act consolidates and strengthens previous anti-discrimination laws, including the DDA, and provides a single source of discrimination law in the UK.
Under the DDA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability in any of the following ways:
- Direct discrimination: This occurs when a person with a disability is treated less favorably than someone without a disability in similar circumstances. For example, if an employer refuses to hire a candidate because they have a disability, this would be direct discrimination.
- Indirect discrimination: This occurs when a rule or policy that appears to be neutral has a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities. For example, if a company has a policy that all employees must be able to lift heavy objects, this may indirectly discriminate against people with mobility impairments.
- Discrimination arising from disability: This occurs when a person with a disability is treated unfairly because of something connected to their disability. For example, if an employer dismisses an employee because they are unable to attend work due to a disability, this would be discrimination arising from disability.
The DDA also requires that employers and providers of goods, facilities, and services make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. This could include providing special equipment or making changes to the physical environment.
For example, if an employee with a visual impairment requires special software to use a computer, their employer would be required to provide it as a reasonable adjustment. Similarly, if a shop or restaurant has a flight of stairs leading to the entrance, they may be required to install a ramp or lift to make the building accessible to people with mobility impairments.
The DDA applies to all employers, regardless of size, and to any person or organization that provides goods, facilities, or services to the public. This includes schools, hospitals, shops, and transport providers.
There are a few exceptions to the DDA, such as where disability discrimination is justified on the grounds of national security or where it is necessary to protect the health and safety of others. However, these exceptions are narrowly defined and must be applied strictly.
If you believe that you have been the victim of disability discrimination, you can make a complaint to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC is the UK’s independent national equality body and has the power to investigate and take legal action in cases of discrimination.
If your complaint is upheld, the EHRC may be able to help you seek compensation or other remedies, such as an apology or changes to policies or practices that discriminate against people with disabilities.
It is important to note that the DDA only applies to disability discrimination. If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic, you may be able to make a complaint under the Equality Act or other anti-discrimination legislation.
Overall, the Disability Discrimination Act is an important piece of legislation that helps to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the UK and ensure that they are treated fairly and with dignity. While progress has been made in eliminating disability discrimination, there is still more work to be done to fully realize the principles of equality and inclusion for people with disabilities.