The ‘Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people. Follow-up report‘ has been published today. The evidence of Catherine Casserley former specialist adviser to the Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee and of Declan O’Dempsey for the Discrimination Law Association is widely quoted.
The report examined the progress which has been made by the Government and key stakeholders on the implementation of some of the recommendations made by the Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability in their report, The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people, a report aimed at determining if the Equality Act 2010 has achieved its purpose in relation to disabled persons.
Public Sector Duty
In relation to the public sector equality duty under s149 of the Equality Act 2010, the report reiterates the 2016 recommendation that the following subsection be added to s 149: “To comply with the duties in this section, a public authority in the exercise of its functions, or a person within subsection (2) in the exercise of its public functions, shall take all proportionate steps towards the achievement of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).”
It also recommends that Specific Duties requiring development and implementation of an action plan be reintroduced.
Accessibility of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
In relation to accessibility of Taxis and Private Hire vehicles, the recommendation is that s163 of EA is amended to include Private Hire Vehicles and implemented. This would create a duty for such vehicles to be accessible in conformity with new regulations.
Access to Justice
As to Access to Justice, the Report recommends that “The Civil Procedure Rules should be amended to apply Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting to discrimination claims under the Equality Act” and adds that this should be actioned within six months of the publication of this report. This recommendation is made in the light of the slow progress which the government has been making in considering whether to introduce QOCs for discrimination claims in the county court.
The government is expected to publish a response to this report in due course.