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Equality Act 2010

Section 6: Disability

38.This section establishes who is to be considered as having the protected characteristic of disability and is a disabled person for the purposes of the Act. With Schedule 1 and regulations to be made under that Schedule, it will also establish what constitutes a disability. Where people have the same disability, they share the protected characteristic of disability.

39.It provides for Ministers to issue statutory guidance to help those who need to decide whether a person has a disability for the purposes of the Act.


40.This section, Schedule 1, and regulations to be made under Schedule 1 replace similar provisions in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and provisions in secondary legislation made under that Act.

  • A man works in a warehouse, loading and unloading heavy stock. He develops a long-term heart condition and no longer has the ability to lift or move heavy items of stock at work. Lifting and moving such heavy items is not a normal day-to-day activity. However, he is also unable to lift, carry or move moderately heavy everyday objects such as chairs, at work or around the home. This is an adverse effect on a normal day-to-day activity. He is likely to be considered a disabled person for the purposes of the Act.

  • A young woman has developed colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. The condition is a chronic one which is subject to periods of remissions and flare-ups. During a flare-up she experiences severe abdominal pain and bouts of diarrhoea. This makes it very difficult for her to travel or go to work. This has a substantial adverse effect on her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. She is likely to be considered a disabled person for the purposes of the Act.

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