The Government has issued a consultation, Improving Protection from Disability Discrimination, in which it seeks views on how the Equality Bill should deal with disability discrimination following the decision of the House of Lords in Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm. The consultation closes on 6 January 2009.
In the Malcolm case, the House of Lords overturned established case law on disability-related discrimination, redefining the appropriate comparator and making it harder for a disabled claimant to succeed in proving disability discrimination. The Equality Bill seeks to simplify and harmonise discrimination law across the UK and the consultation therefore seeks views on whether:
- disability-related discrimination should be replaced by indirect discrimination, bringing disability discrimination legislation into line with other discrimination protection; and
- the legislation should provide that indirect discrimination cannot be justified if an employer has breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments.