On 11 June 2015, the House of Lords Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee was appointed to conduct post-legislative scrutiny of the disability provisions of the Act. The Committee published its report, Equality Act 2010: the Impact on Disabled People (HL Paper 117 of session 2015–16), on 24 March 2016. The Committee report made recommendations about areas it believed disabled people were being poorly served by the Equality Act. Particular emphasis was on the following areas:
- The effectiveness of the public sector equality duty;
- A number of provisions relating to access to buildings, dwellings and transport facilities which had not been brought into force;
- Access to justice, particularly the imposition of tribunal fees and reductions to legal aid;
- The functions of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The Government published its response on 11 July 2016. The report was debated in the House of Lords on 6 September 2016. Subsequently, in December 2017, at the request of the House of Lords Liaison Committee, the Government Equalities Office published a further update on the status of the report’s recommendations.
Following the Committee report’s publication, section 165 of the Act, placing a duty on taxi drivers to carry wheelchair users, has subsequently been brought into force. The Government has made a commitment to bring into force section 36, placing a duty on landlords to make adjustments to common parts of buildings. In addition, the Committee had raised concerns regarding the imposition of employment tribunal fees. These fees were abolished by the Government following a Supreme Court judgment in July 2017, which ruled them unlawful.
This Briefing summarises the Committee’s recommendations, the Government’s response, the debate in the House of Lords in September 2016, and subsequent developments.