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Key provisions in Equality Act 2010 not implemented

9 September 2021

The House of Lords Liaison Committee publishes its fourth follow-up report; The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people Follow-up report.


This report examines the progress made by the Government in the implementation of the recommendations made by the Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability in its 2016 report The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people.

In the Liaison Committee’s report Review of House of Lords Investigative and Scrutiny Committees: towards a new thematic committee structure published in July 2019, the Committee recommended that the Liaison Committee (on a case by case basis) could hold follow-up evidence sessions on a former special inquiry committee’s recommendations, followed by the publication of a report. This is the fourth occasion on which this new procedure has been used.

Key points

The Committee finds that a number of provisions in the Equality Act have not been brought into force in the 11 years since they became law. Clauses in the Act that the Committee have identified as requiring improvement or implementation include:

  • Requiring all public sector organisations to apply the Public Sector Equality Duty effectively. The Committee says this is often operated as a ‘tick-box’ exercise because the requirement to have ‘due regard’ to equality issues is too weak and emphasises procedure rather than outcomes. The burden often falls on disabled people to enforce their own rights. The Committee says all public bodies should be required to implement a ‘plan of action’ for how they will meet the requirement of the equality duty.
  • Access to taxis and private hire vehicles. Section 163 of the Equality Act requires licenced taxis to comply with accessibility regulations, but despite being on the statute books for more than 20 years it has never been implemented, meaning disabled people still find it hard to access taxi services. The Committee calls on the Government to implement the provision with immediate effect and to amend it to ensure it covers Private Hire Vehicles as well as licenced taxis.
  • Access to sports stadia. The Committee says that the Equality Act has not given disabled sports fans the equal access to sports stadia to which they are entitled. The Act relies on individuals taking action against institutions that are not meeting the requirements and often disabled sports fans are reluctant to take action against a sports club they support. The Committee calls on the Government to introduce a Bill to give local authorities power to refuse a safety certificate to large sports stadiums that do not comply with accessible stadia guidelines.

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