On 1 October 2010, The Equality Act 2010 came into effect. It seeks to protect people from discrimination both in the workplace and in wider society. The Act is a legal requirement and it’s therefore essential that your business complies with it.
What is The Equality Act 2010?
The Act makes it illegal to discriminate against someone due to their:
- Gender reassignment
- Marital status
- Pregnancy (or if they’re on maternity leave)
- Sexual orientation
These are known as protected characteristics and everyone is safeguarded from being discriminated against them while:
- At work
- In education
- Using public services
- Buying or renting a property
- As a consumer
- As a member or guest of a private club or association
Disability forms a big part of the Act and it states that those who are disabled must have the same rights as other workers and consumers. As an employer, it’s a legal requirement for you to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to facilitate access to your disabled employee’s and job applicants.
The rules don’t just apply to employers however. Shops, local authorities, doctor’s surgeries, schools and anyone offering a public service (such as a beauty salon or cafe for example), must take steps to remove any barriers customers may encounter because of a disability.
How can I ensure my business complies with The Equality Act 2010?
If there’s a physical feature of your premises which makes it difficult for a disabled person to use or access, you are legally obliged to change this providing it’s a reasonable adjustment. Reasonable adjustments may include:
- Adding ramps or stairlifts
- Making doorways wider
- Installing automatic doors
- If you’re not on the ground floor and don’t have a lift, stairlifts are a much cheaper and easier way to allow for disabled access
Newbury Mobility Ltd has a great selection of affordable stairlifts for all types of businesses. We also offer a rental service which includes maintenance and upkeep, so you don’t have to worry about repair bills or what will happen if you relocate.
If someone feels they have been discriminated against, they can make a complaint which could result in you being called to court or a tribunal which is why it is imperative that your business complies.
You can find out everything you need to know about the Equality Act 2010 on the gov.uk website.
If you would like more information about any of our products or how The Equality Act 2010 applies to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Newbury Mobility Ltd.