CMS guide to hotel industry issues: Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act
October 2004 saw Part III of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act finally come into force.
Hotel operators will have been familiar with the existence and some of the provisions of the Act for several years now. The first part of the Act relating to employers and their obligations not to discriminate against disabled employees came into effect some years ago. In addition employers have had to start considering more recently making reasonable changes to the workplace or their employment policies to ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled job applicants or employees. In addition hotel operators in their capacity of “service providers” (ie those who provide goods, services or facilities to the public (whether these items are paid for or free) have, as a result of other provisions of the DDA, had to consider improvements to their policies and to look at providing additional services or equipment (eg induction loops) in each case to make access to those services more easily available for disabled people.
When considering their statutory duty under Part III hotel operators need to consider all the potential types of disabled people who may be accessing their services and facilities and not simply those who are more visibly disabled.