DRC seeks to extend discrimination laws

The Disability Rights
Commission has today called for all public sector bodies to be included under
anti-discrimination laws.

The DRC’s first
annual review also calls for a new disability act which gives all people with
HIV and cancer, including those in remission, protection from discrimination.

It also wants  legislation to be extended to cover all
employers instead of organisations with 15 or more staff, which is the current
situation and which the DRC claims represents only 20 per cent of UK firms.

In its first year
the DRC helped more than two thousand disabled people who faced discrimination,
which is ten times more than the organisation anticipated.

“The review shows
the shocking extent of disability discrimination in this country,” said Bert
Massie, chair of the DRC.

“The Government is
introducing new protection rights for disabled people in 2004. But more
additional reform is needed which can only be brought about by a new disability
act to plug the loopholes in current legislation.”

Massie
continued, “As well as legal enforcement, conciliation and co-operation are key
to the DRC’s plan to move towards a society in which disabled people are valued
equality. But these only worked if they are backed by legislation.”

By Paul Nelson

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