Government to draft trade disability guidelines

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Disability

The Government is preparing guidelines for licensees on how to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.The move follows concern within the...

The Government is preparing guidelines for licensees on how to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

The move follows concern within the trade that the legislation, which requires pubs to make "reasonable adjustments" to make services accessible to disabled customers, is too vague.

It is hoped that the new guidelines, understood to have been drafted after consultation from the trade, will clarify exactly what is "reasonable".

Adjustments can include widening doorways or installing stair lifts but for smaller outlets this would represent too great a cost and for many listed pub buildings it would not be feasible.

Adjustments that may be appropriate for smaller pubs include offering table service to customers with mobility problems or reading menus to the blind.

The new guidelines, expected in the next six months, should help end confusion and enable licensees to protect themselves against possible legal action by disabled customers.

The next phase of the act is due to come into force in 2004.

If publicans do not act, then it is believed there will be a rise in the number of disabled customers taking licensees to court for not complying with this new law.

"Unless publicans have a valid reason for failing to act, this could lead to court cases," a spokesman for the Disability Rights Commission said.

"The main problems are going to be the cost of making these changes and the damage that alterations could do.

"But the Act currently does take into account physical limitations of buildings and whether the cost of making alterations such as installing lifts is feasible for smaller businesses."

Related topics: Legislation

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more