Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act
The Equality Act 2010 harmonises and replaces previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995).
The Act strengthens and streamlines existing equality law so disabled people (and other groups) will have greater protection from discrimination.
The new Equality Act combines all anti-discrimination legislation and most of the measures in the new act came into force on 1st October. The Disability Equality Duty replaced the single public sector duty in April 2011.
The Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 & 2005 (collectively known as the DDA) were designed to stop disabled people being treated unfairly. The Act radically altered how disabled people should be treated. It coverered employment; access to goods, facilities & services; the selling/letting of property; transport and education.
Since 2004 all employers have been covered by the DDA, no matter how large or small. The only exemption applies to the Armed Forces.
All companies or organisations providing goods or services to the public are covered by Part III of the Act: Access to Goods, Facilities and Services, regardless of whether the services are paid for or provided free. All commercial and public premises are fully subject to the DDA.