Background and Policy Objectives
3.The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), as originally enacted, contained provisions making it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in relation to employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services, and the disposal and management of premises. It also enabled regulations to be made with a view to facilitating the accessibility of taxis, public service vehicles and rail vehicles for disabled people.
4.In December 1997, the Government established the Disability Rights Task Force, an independent body comprising of members from disability organisations, the private and public sectors and trade unions, to advise it on how best to secure comprehensive and enforceable civil rights for disabled people.
5.The Northern Ireland Executive has consulted extensively on the policies underlying the Order. In 2001 the Northern Ireland Executive published its response to the Task Force’s recommendations “Improving Civil Rights for Disabled People”. That response, which was also a consultation document, set out the Executive’s proposals for taking forward those of the Task Force’s recommendations with which it agreed.
6.The main employment proposals set out in the Executive’s response have already been taken forward in The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004(1) (“the Amendment Regulations”), made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 in order to implement the disability aspects of the EC Employment Directive (2000/78/EC).
7.The Order gives effect to more of the remaining recommendations proposed in the Executive’s response to the Task Force.