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The effects on business

Briefings

If you are in business, you will almost certainly be affected by the requirements of the DisabilityDiscrimination Act. You should therefore:

Determine whether your business, employees or building(s) are covered by the Act, taking advice if necessary.

Get advice when:

building or altering premises;

purchasing or leasing premises; and

purchasing or acquiring a business.

The Act incorporates a 'duty to make adjustments'. For example, if a physical feature of a premises puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage, there is a duty to take reasonable steps in altering the building. The question of what is reasonable will be decided by the courts in each case and will depend on such factors as cost, ease or difficulty of altering a building and whether alterations constitute acomplete solution.

There could be considerable cost implications to altering a building or paying compensation to disabled people affected by inaccessibility.

According to some surveyors, the desirability and value of some buildings will be affected by the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act. This will in turn affect those who design and build, who procure buildings, and those who use and occupy buildings.