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Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50)

1995 CHAPTER 50

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Content
  1. Part I

    Disability

    1. 1. Meaning of "disability" and "disabled person".

    2. 2. Past disabilities.

    3. 3. Guidance.

  2. Part II

    Employment

    1. Discrimination by employers

      1. 4. Discrimination against applicants and employees.

      2. 5. Meaning of "discrimination".

      3. 6. Duty of employer to make adjustments.

      4. 7. Exemption for small businesses.

    2. Enforcement etc.

      1. 8. Enforcement, remedies and procedure.

      2. 9. Validity of certain agreements.

      3. 10. Charities and support for particular groups of persons.

      4. 11. Advertisements suggesting that employers will discriminate against disabled persons.

    3. Discrimination by other persons

      1. 12. Discrimination against contract workers.

      2. 13. Discrimination by trade organisations.

      3. 14. Meaning of "discrimination" in relation to trade organisations.

      4. 15. Duty of trade organisation to make adjustments.

    4. Premises occupied under leases

      1. 16. Alterations to premises occupied under leases.

    5. Occupational pension schemes and insurance services

      1. 17. Occupational pension schemes.

      2. 18. Insurance services.

  3. Part III

    Discrimination in Other Areas

    1. Goods, facilities and services

      1. 19. Discrimination in relation to goods, facilities and services.

      2. 20. Meaning of "discrimination".

      3. 21. Duty of providers of services to make adjustments.

    2. Premises

      1. 22. Discrimination in relation to premises.

      2. 23. Exemption for small dwellings.

      3. 24. Meaning of "discrimination".

    3. Enforcement, etc.

      1. 25. Enforcement, remedies and procedure.

      2. 26. Validity and revision of certain agreements.

      3. 27. Alterations to premises occupied under leases.

      4. 28. Advice and assistance.

  4. Part IV

    Education

    1. 29. Education of disabled persons.

    2. 30. Further and higher education of disabled persons.

    3. 31. Further and higher education of disabled persons: Scotland.

  5. Part V

    Public Transport

    1. Taxis

      1. 32. Taxi accessibility regulations.

      2. 33. Designated transport facilities.

      3. 34. New licences conditional on compliance with taxi accessibility regulations.

      4. 35. Exemption from taxi accessibility regulations.

      5. 36. Carrying of passengers in wheelchairs.

      6. 37. Carrying of guide dogs and hearing dogs.

      7. 38. Appeal against refusal of exemption certificate.

      8. 39. Requirements as to disabled passengers in Scotland.

    2. Public service vehicles

      1. 40. PSV accessibility regulations.

      2. 41. Accessibility certificates.

      3. 42. Approval certificates.

      4. 43. Special authorisations.

      5. 44. Reviews and appeals.

      6. 45. Fees.

    3. Rail vehicles

      1. 46. Rail vehicle accessibility regulations.

      2. 47. Exemption from rail vehicle accessibility regulations.

    4. Supplemental

      1. 48. Offences by bodies corporate etc.

      2. 49. Forgery and false statements.

  6. Part VI

    The National Disability Council

    1. 50. The National Disability Council.

    2. 51. Codes of practice prepared by the Council.

    3. 52. Further provision about codes issued under section 51.

  7. Part VII

    Supplemental

    1. 53. Codes of practice prepared by the Secretary of State.

    2. 54. Further provision about codes issued under section 53.

    3. 55. Victimisation.

    4. 56. Help for persons suffering discrimination.

    5. 57. Aiding unlawful acts.

    6. 58. Liability of employers and principals.

    7. 59. Statutory authority and national security etc.

  8. Part VIII

    Miscellaneous

    1. 60. Appointment by Secretary of State of advisers.

    2. 61. Amendment of Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944.

    3. 62. Restriction of publicity: industrial tribunals.

    4. 63. Restriction of publicity: Employment Appeal Tribunal.

    5. 64. Application to Crown etc.

    6. 65. Application to Parliament.

    7. 66. Government appointments outside Part II.

    8. 67. Regulations and orders.

    9. 68. Interpretation.

    10. 69. Financial provisions.

    11. 70. Short title, commencement, extent etc.

  9. SCHEDULES:

    1. Schedule 1

      -- Provisions Supplementing Section 1.

    2. Schedule 2

      -- Past Disabilities.

    3. Schedule 3

      -- Enforcement and Procedure.

      1. Part I

        -- Employment.

      2. Part II

        -- Discrimination in Other Areas.

    4. Schedule 4

      -- Premises Occupied Under Leases.

      1. Part I

        -- Occupation by Employer or Trade Organisation.

      2. Part II

        -- Occupation by Provider of Services.

    5. Schedule 5

      -- The National Disability Council.

    6. Schedule 6

      -- Consequential Amendments.

    7. Schedule 7

      -- Repeals.

    8. Schedule 8

      -- Modifications of this Act in its Application to Northern Ireland.

An Act to make it unlawful to discriminate against disabled persons in connection with employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services or the disposal or management of premises; to make provision about the employment of disabled persons; and to establish a National Disability Council.

[8th November 1995]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part I Disability

1 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.

2 Past disabilities

(1) The provisions of this Part and Parts II and III apply in relation to a person who has had a disability as they apply in relation to a person who has that disability.

(2) Those provisions are subject to the modifications made by Schedule 2.

(3) Any regulations or order made under this Act may include provision with respect to persons who have had a disability.

(4) In any proceedings under Part II or Part III of this Act, the question whether a person had a disability at a particular time ("the relevant time") shall be determined, for the purposes of this section, as if the provisions of, or made under, this Act in force when the act complained of was done had been in force at the relevant time.

(5) The relevant time may be a time before the passing of this Act.

3 Guidance

(1) The Secretary of State may issue guidance about the matters to be taken into account in determining--

(a) whether an impairment has a substantial adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities; or

(b) whether such an impairment has a long-term effect.

(2) The guidance may, among other things, give examples of--

(a) effects which it would be reasonable, in relation to particular activities, to regard for purposes of this Act as substantial adverse effects;

(b) effects which it would not be reasonable, in relation to particular activities, to regard for such purposes as substantial adverse effects;

(c) substantial adverse effects which it would be reasonable to regard, for such purposes, as long-term;

(d) substantial adverse effects which it would not be reasonable to regard, for such purposes, as long-term.

(3) A tribunal or court determining, for any purpose of this Act, whether an impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, shall take into account any guidance which appears to it to be relevant.

(4) In preparing a draft of any guidance, the Secretary of State shall consult such persons as he considers appropriate.

(5) Where the Secretary of State proposes to issue any guidance, he shall publish a draft of it, consider any representations that are made to him about the draft and, if he thinks it appropriate, modify his proposals in the light of any of those representations.

(6) If the Secretary of State decides to proceed with any proposed guidance, he shall lay a draft of it before each House of Parliament.

(7) If, within the 40-day period, either House resolves not to approve the draft, the Secretary of State shall take no further steps in relation to the proposed guidance.

(8) If no such resolution is made within the 40-day period, the Secretary of State shall issue the guidance in the form of his draft.

(9) The guidance shall come into force on such date as the Secretary of State may appoint by order.

(10) Subsection (7) does not prevent a new draft of the proposed guidance from being laid before Parliament.

(11) The Secretary of State may--

(a) from time to time revise the whole or part of any guidance and re-issue it;

(b) by order revoke any guidance.

(12) In this section--

  • "40-day period", in relation to the draft of any proposed guidance, means--

    (a)

    if the draft is laid before one House on a day later than the day on which it is laid before the other House, the period of 40 days beginning with the later of the two days, and

    (b)

    in any other case, the period of 40 days beginning with the day on which the draft is laid before each House,

    no account being taken of any period during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than 4 days; and

  • "guidance" means guidance issued by the Secretary of State under this section and includes guidance which has been revised and re-issued.



Part II Employment

Discrimination by employers

4 Discrimination against applicants and employees

(1) It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person--

(a) in the arrangements which he makes for the purpose of determining to whom he should offer employment;

(b) in the terms on which he offers that person employment; or

(c) by refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering, him employment.

(2) It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a disabled person whom he employs--

(a) in the terms of employment which he affords him;

(b) in the opportunities which he affords him for promotion, a transfer, training or receiving any other benefit;

(c) by refusing to afford him, or deliberately not affording him, any such opportunity; or

(d) by dismissing him, or subjecting him to any other detriment.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to benefits of any description if the employer is concerned with the provision (whether or not for payment) of benefits of that description to the public, or to a section of the public which includes the employee in question, unless--

(a) that provision differs in a material respect from the provision of the benefits by the employer to his employees; or

(b) the provision of the benefits to the employee in question is regulated by his contract of employment; or

(c) the benefits relate to training.

(4) In this Part "benefits" includes facilities and services.

(5) In the case of an act which constitutes discrimination by virtue of section 55, this section also applies to discrimination against a person who is not disabled.

(6) This section applies only in relation to employment at an establishment in Great Britain.

5 Meaning of "discrimination"

(1) For the purposes of this Part, an employer discriminates against a disabled person if--

(a) for a reason which relates to the disabled person's disability, he treats him less favourably than he treats or would treat others to whom that reason does not or would not apply; and

(b) he cannot show that the treatment in question is justified.

(2) For the purposes of this Part, an employer also discriminates against a disabled person if--

(a) he fails to comply with a section 6 duty imposed on him in relation to the disabled person; and

(b) he cannot show that his failure to comply with that duty is justified.

(3) Subject to subsection (5), for the purposes of subsection (1) treatment is justified if, but only if, the reason for it is both material to the circumstances of the particular case and substantial.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2), failure to comply with a section 6 duty is justified if, but only if, the reason for the failure is both material to the circumstances of the particular case and substantial.

(5) If, in a case falling within subsection (1), the employer is under a section 6 duty in relation to the disabled person but fails without justification to comply with that duty, his treatment of that person cannot be justified under subsection (3) unless it would have been justified even if he had complied with the section 6 duty.

(6) Regulations may make provision, for purposes of this section, as to circumstances in which--

(a) treatment is to be taken to be justified;

(b) failure to comply with a section 6 duty is to be taken to be justified;

(c) treatment is to be taken not to be justified;

(d) failure to comply with a section 6 duty is to be taken not to be justified.

(7) Regulations under subsection (6) may, in particular--

(a) make provision by reference to the cost of affording any benefit; and

(b) in relation to benefits under occupational pension schemes, make provision with a view to enabling uniform rates of contributions to be maintained.

6 Duty of employer to make adjustments

(1) Where--

(a) any arrangements made by or on behalf of an employer, or

(b) any physical feature of premises occupied by the employer,

place the disabled person concerned at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled, it is the duty of the employer to take such steps as it is reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, for him to have to take in order to prevent the arrangements or feature having that effect.

(2) Subsection (1)(a) applies only in relation to--

(a) arrangements for determining to whom employment should be offered;

(b) any term, condition or arrangements on which employment, promotion, a transfer, training or any other benefit is offered or afforded.

(3) The following are examples of steps which an employer may have to take in relation to a disabled person in order to comply with subsection (1)--

(a) making adjustments to premises;

(b) allocating some of the disabled person's duties to another person;

(c) transferring him to fill an existing vacancy;

(d) altering his working hours;

(e) assigning him to a different place of work;

(f) allowing him to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment;

(g) giving him, or arranging for him to be given, training;

(h) acquiring or modifying equipment;

(i) modifying instructions or reference manuals;

(j) modifying procedures for testing or assessment;

(k) providing a reader or interpreter;

(l) providing supervision.

(4) In determining whether it is reasonable for an employer to have to take a particular step in order to comply with subsection (1), regard shall be had, in particular, to--

(a) the extent to which taking the step would prevent the effect in question;

(b) the extent to which it is practicable for the employer to take the step;

(c) the financial and other costs which would be incurred by the employer in taking the step and the extent to which taking it would disrupt any of his activities;

(d) the extent of the employer's financial and other resources;

(e) the availability to the employer of financial or other assistance with respect to taking the step.

This subsection is subject to any provision of regulations made under subsection (8).

(5) In this section, "the disabled person concerned" means--

(a) in the case of arrangements for determining to whom employment should be offered, any disabled person who is, or has notified the employer that he may be, an applicant for that employment;

(b) in any other case, a disabled person who is--

(i) an applicant for the employment concerned; or

(ii) an employee of the employer concerned.

(6) Nothing in this section imposes any duty on an employer in relation to a disabled person if the employer does not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know--

(a) in the case of an applicant or potential applicant, that the disabled person concerned is, or may be, an applicant for the employment; or

(b) in any case, that that person has a disability and is likely to be affected in the way mentioned in subsection (1).

(7) Subject to the provisions of this section, nothing in this Part is to be taken to require an employer to treat a disabled person more favourably than he treats or would treat others.

(8) Regulations may make provision, for the purposes of subsection (1)--

(a) as to circumstances in which arrangements are, or a physical feature is, to be taken to have the effect mentioned in that subsection;

(b) as to circumstances in which arrangements are not, or a physical feature is not, to be taken to have that effect;

(c) as to circumstances in which it is reasonable for an employer to have to take steps of a prescribed description;

(d) as to steps which it is always reasonable for an employer to have to take;

(e) as to circumstances in which it is not reasonable for an employer to have to take steps of a prescribed description;

(f) as to steps which it is never reasonable for an employer to have to take;

(g) as to things which are to be treated as physical features;

(h) as to things which are not to be treated as such features.

(9) Regulations made under subsection (8)(c), (d), (e) or (f) may, in particular, make provision by reference to the cost of taking the steps concerned.

(10) Regulations may make provision adding to the duty imposed on employers by this section, including provision of a kind which may be made under subsection (8).

(11) This section does not apply in relation to any benefit under an occupational pension scheme or any other benefit payable in money or money's worth under a scheme or arrangement for the benefit of employees in respect of--

(a) termination of service;

(b) retirement, old age or death;

(c) accident, injury, sickness or invalidity; or

(d) any other prescribed matter.

(12) This section imposes duties only for the purpose of determining whether an employer has discriminated against a disabled person; and accordingly a breach of any such duty is not actionable as such.

7 Exemption for small businesses

(1) Nothing in this Part applies in relation to an employer who has fewer than 20 employees.

(2) The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) by substituting a different number (not greater than 20) for the number for the time being specified there.

(3) In this section--

  • "anniversary" means the anniversary of the coming into force of this section; and

  • "review" means a review of the effect of this section.

(4) Before making any order under subsection (2), the Secretary of State shall conduct a review.

(5) Unless he has already begun or completed a review under subsection (4), the Secretary of State shall begin to conduct a review immediately after the fourth anniversary.

(6) Any review shall be completed within nine months.

(7) In conducting any review, the Secretary of State shall consult--

(a) such organisations representing the interests of employers as he considers appropriate; and

(b) such organisations representing the interests of disabled persons in employment or seeking employment as he considers appropriate.

(8) If, on completing a review, the Secretary of State decides to make an order under subsection (2), he shall make such an order to come into force not later than one year after the commencement of the review.

(9) If, on completing a review, the Secretary of State decides not to make such an order, he shall not later than one year after the commencement of the review lay before Parliament a report--

(a) summarising the results of the review; and

(b) giving the reasons for his decision.

(10) Any report made by the Secretary of State under subsection (9) shall include a summary of the views expressed to him in his consultations.



Enforcement etc.

8 Enforcement, remedies and procedure

(1) A complaint by any person that another person--

(a) has discriminated against him in a way which is unlawful under this Part, or

(b) is, by virtue of section 57 or 58, to be treated as having discriminated against him in such a way,

may be presented to an industrial tribunal.

(2) Where an industrial tribunal finds that a complaint presented to it under this section is well-founded, it shall take such of the following steps as it considers just and equitable--

(a) making a declaration as to the rights of the complainant and the respondent in relation to the matters to which the complaint relates;

(b) ordering the respondent to pay compensation to the complainant;

(c) recommending that the respondent take, within a specified period, action appearing to the tribunal to be reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, for the purpose of obviating or reducing the adverse effect on the complainant of any matter to which the complaint relates.

(3) Where a tribunal orders compensation under subsection (2)(b), the amount of the compensation shall be calculated by applying the principles applicable to the calculation of damages in claims in tort or (in Scotland) in reparation for breach of statutory duty.

(4) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that compensation in respect of discrimination in a way which is unlawful under this Part may include compensation for injury to feelings whether or not it includes compensation under any other head.

(5) If the respondent to a complaint fails, without reasonable justification, to comply with a recommendation made by an industrial tribunal under subsection (2)(c) the tribunal may, if it thinks it just and equitable to do so--

(a) increase the amount of compensation required to be paid to the complainant in respect of the complaint, where an order was made under subsection (2)(b); or

(b) make an order under subsection (2)(b).

(6) Regulations may make provision--

(a) for enabling a tribunal, where an amount of compensation falls to be awarded under subsection (2)(b), to include in the award interest on that amount; and

(b) specifying, for cases where a tribunal decides that an award is to include an amount in respect of interest, the manner in which and the periods and rate by reference to which the interest is to be determined.

(7) Regulations may modify the operation of any order made under paragraph 6A of Schedule 9 to the [1978 c. 44.] Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978 (power to make provision as to interest on sums payable in pursuance of industrial tribunal decisions) to the extent that it relates to an award of compensation under subsection (2)(b).

(8) Part I of Schedule 3 makes further provision about the enforcement of this Part and about procedure.

9 Validity of certain agreements

(1) Any term in a contract of employment or other agreement is void so far as it purports to--

(a) require a person to do anything which would contravene any provision of, or made under, this Part;

(b) exclude or limit the operation of any provision of this Part; or

(c) prevent any person from presenting a complaint to an industrial tribunal under this Part.

(2) Paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1) do not apply to an agreement not to institute proceedings under section 8(1), or to an agreement not to continue such proceedings, if--

(a) a conciliation officer has acted under paragraph 1 of Schedule 3 in relation to the matter; or

(b) the conditions set out in subsection (3) are satisfied.

(3) The conditions are that--

(a) the complainant must have received independent legal advice from a qualified lawyer as to the terms and effect of the proposed agreement (and in particular its effect on his ability to pursue his complaint before an industrial tribunal);

(b) when the adviser gave the advice there must have been in force a policy of insurance covering the risk of a claim by the complainant in respect of loss arising in consequence of the advice; and

(c) the agreement must be in writing, relate to the particular complaint, identify the adviser and state that the conditions are satisfied.

(4) In this section--

  • "independent", in relation to legal advice to the complainant, means that it is given by a lawyer who is not acting for the other party or for a person who is connected with that other party; and

  • "qualified lawyer" means--

    (a)

    as respects proceedings in England and Wales, a barrister (whether in practice as such or employed to give legal advice) or a solicitor of the Supreme Court who holds a practising certificate; and

    (b)

    as respects proceedings in Scotland, an advocate (whether in practice as such or employed to give legal advice) or a solicitor who holds a practising certificate.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (4), any two persons are to be treated as connected if--

(a) one is a company of which the other (directly or indirectly) has control, or

(b) both are companies of which a third person (directly or indirectly) has control.

10 Charities and support for particular groups of persons

(1) Nothing in this Part--

(a) affects any charitable instrument which provides for conferring benefits on one or more categories of person determined by reference to any physical or mental capacity; or

(b) makes unlawful any act done by a charity or recognised body in pursuance of any of its charitable purposes, so far as those purposes are connected with persons so determined.

(2) Nothing in this Part prevents--

(a) a person who provides supported employment from treating members of a particular group of disabled persons more favourably than other persons in providing such employment; or

(b) the Secretary of State from agreeing to arrangements for the provision of supported employment which will, or may, have that effect.

(3) In this section--

  • "charitable instrument" means an enactment or other instrument (whenever taking effect) so far as it relates to charitable purposes;

  • "charity" has the same meaning as in the [1993 c. 10.] Charities Act 1993;

  • "recognised body" means a body which is a recognised body for the purposes of Part I of the [1990 c. 40.] Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990; and

  • "supported employment" means facilities provided, or in respect of which payments are made, under section 15 of the [1944 c. 10.] Disabled Persons (Employment) Act 1944.

(4) In the application of this section to England and Wales, "charitable purposes" means purposes which are exclusively charitable according to the law of England and Wales.

(5) In the application of this section to Scotland, "charitable purposes" shall be construed in the same way as if it were contained in the Income Tax Acts.

11 Advertisements suggesting that employers will discriminate against disabled persons

(1) This section applies where--

(a) a disabled person has applied for employment with an employer;

(b) the employer has refused to offer, or has deliberately not offered, him the employment;

(c) the disabled person has presented a complaint under section 8 against the employer;

(d) the employer has advertised the employment (whether before or after the disabled person applied for it); and

(e) the advertisement indicated, or might reasonably be understood to have indicated, that any application for the advertised employment would, or might, be determined to any extent by reference to--

(i) the successful applicant not having any disability or any category of disability which includes the disabled person's disability; or

(ii) the employer's reluctance to take any action of a kind mentioned in section 6.

(2) The tribunal hearing the complaint shall assume, unless the contrary is shown, that the employer's reason for refusing to offer, or deliberately not offering, the employment to the complainant was related to the complainant's disability.

(3) In this section "advertisement" includes every form of advertisement or notice, whether to the public or not.



Discrimination by other persons

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12 Discrimination against contract workers

(1) It is unlawful for a principal, in relation to contract work, to discriminate against a disabled person--

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