Regulations to support the disability discrimination provisions in the Equality Act 2010 have been laid before Parliament. The regulations will consolidate the numerous regulations currently supporting the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and replace these on 1 October 2010.

Important changes include:

  • Individuals are deemed disabled if they are "severely sight impaired", "sight impaired", "blind" or "partially sighted".
  •   Small children, whose impairment would have a substantial and long-term effect on the day-to-day activities of someone aged over six years, are deemed disabled.  This may make it easier for a parent or carer to make an associative discrimination claim.
  • Provisions on an employer's duty to make reasonable adjustments to the employee’s place of work and to provide auxiliary aids.

The draft regulations also confirm the conditions that are not considered disabilities. Addiction to alcohol, nicotine or other non-medically-prescribed substance, tendency to set fires, steal, physically or sexually abuse others, exhibitionism, voyeurism, hay- fever, tattoos and piercings are still not disabilities under the new regulations.

Further regulations are being brought in that provide exemptions in respect of sex and age from the sex equality and non discrimination rules incorporated into occupational pension schemes by the Equality Act. These will allow, for example, the use of different factors for men and women, or a minimum or a maximum age for admission to a scheme.

The Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010

The Equality Act 2010 (Sex Equality Rule) (Exceptions) Regulations 2010

Equality Act (Age Exceptions for Pension Schemes) Order 2010