The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) (Disabled Access) Bill [HL] is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Blencathra (Conservative). The Bill received its first reading in the House of Lords on 27 June 2017 and is scheduled to have its second reading on 24 November 2017. Lord Blencathra has produced Explanatory Notes to accompany the Bill. Lord Blencathra introduced similar bills in the 2013–14, 2014–15 and 2015–16 parliamentary sessions. His 2014–15 bill did not progress beyond second reading, and the others did not progress beyond first reading.
The Bill would amend section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to public buildings for wheelchair users. The Bill would apply to buildings accessed by a single step, and would create a requirement to replace the step with a ramp suitable for wheelchair access. This requirement would come into force twelve months after the passing of the Act for steps less than six inches high. After a further year, the requirement would be extended to steps between six and twelve inches in height. These provisions would apply in England, Wales and Scotland. These provisions would not apply to buildings which have more than one step to gain access.
Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 places a duty on those providing goods, facilities or services to the public to make reasonable adjustments in circumstances where a disabled person is placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with non-disabled people.