Tuesday 14 July 2020
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Businesses urged to get ready for disability legislation

Businesses urged to get ready for disability legislation

Monday 06 January 2020

Businesses urged to get ready for disability legislation


Local businesses are being reminded their premises must be accessible to anyone with a disability as the final part of the disability discrimination law comes into force later this year.

The Disability Discrimination Law, which was voted in in 2018, set a two year period for "reasonable changes" to be made and the deadline falls on 1 September.

Law At Work (LAW), a Jersey-based company that specialises in health and safety and employee relations, is therefore reminding all employers and service providers that if they haven't taken steps to make those reasonable physical changes they risk facing a claim as well as possible damage to their reputation.

"Businesses and service providers have had time to work on this, but some may not have got around to it yet," Richard Plaster, Director at LAW.

"LAW provides an Access Audit service which will look at those factors in a building which could cause difficulty to those with various impairments and consider whether it is reasonable or not to make adjustments for access or for other purposes.

Richard Plaster

Pictured: Richard Plaster, Director at LAW.

"Access is an obvious issue but there could be other impairments that need to be considered. For example, it could be that you need to think about colour schemes for those with visual impairments.

"Lighter notes in a dark carpet on stairs will help differentiate steps rather than seeing a blur. Or it could be that the taps in an existing disabled toilet are too low for someone in a wheelchair. These are all likely to be reasonable adjustments to make."

Factors such as cost, and the size of the business will be taken into account when deciding whether reasonable steps have been taken. It may be that it is too costly for some smaller businesses for an immediate change, but it may become reasonable when refurbishment work is carried out or it may be that only small changes are needed.

 

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