Make provision in relation to public authorities for the elimination of
discrimination against disabled persons and for the promotion of equality of
opportunity for such persons.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
1 Persons exercising public functions: statutory duties
(1) In Part 8 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (c. 50) (in this Act referred to
as the 1995 Act), before section 60 (appointment by Secretary of State of
advisers) there is inserted—
“59A Duties of persons exercising public functions
(1) The Secretary of State may by order specify persons who, in carrying
out their functions, must have regard to the following principles—
(a) unlawful discrimination against and unlawful harassment of
disabled persons must be eliminated;
(b) equalisation of opportunity for disabled persons is to be
(2) But an order under subsection (1) must not specify a person unless he
exercises functions of a public nature.
(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations require such persons
specified in an order under subsection (1) as he considers appropriate
to do such things as he considers appropriate for the purpose of
ensuring the better performance by those persons of their duties under
(4) Before making regulations under subsection (3) the Secretary of State
must consult the Disability Rights Commission.
(5) The Secretary of State may by order vary an order under subsection (1).
(6) But an order under subsection (5) must not add a person to the persons
specified in an order under subsection (1) unless he exercises functions
of a public nature.
(7) Nothing in this section affects the exercise of a function which is not a
function of a public nature.
(8) This section is subject to section 59C and does not affect any
requirement to comply with any other provision of this Act.
59B Persons exercising public functions: supplementary
(1) In section 59A(1)—
(a) discrimination is discrimination within the meaning of any
provision of this Act;
(b) discrimination is unlawful if it is unlawful by virtue of any
provision of this Act;
(c) harassment is harassment within the meaning of any provision
of this Act;
(d) harassment is unlawful if it is unlawful by virtue of any
provision of this Act.
(2) Section 59A(1)(b) does not apply to any function relating to the
employment of a person for service in any of the naval, military or air
forces of the Crown.
(3) In section 59A(1) disabled persons include persons who have had a
disability; and for this purpose section 1 has effect subject to the
modification to Schedule 1 mentioned in paragraph 5 of Schedule 2.
(4) A power in section 59A to make an order or regulations includes power
to make provision amending or repealing provision made by or under
this Act or any other enactment.
(5) Subsection (4) does not affect the powers conferred by section 67(2) and
59C Persons exercising public functions: Scotland and Wales
(1) For the purposes of the Scotland Act 1998 section 59A(3) and (4) and
section 67 (so far as it applies to section 59A(3)) are to be taken to be pre-
commencement enactments within the meaning of that Act.
(2) Before making regulations under section 59A(3) as regards functions
exercisable in relation to Wales by a person who is not a Welsh public
authority, the Secretary of State must consult the National Assembly
(3) The Secretary of State must not make regulations under section 59A(3)
in relation to functions of a Welsh public authority except with the
consent of the National Assembly for Wales.
(4) In this section Welsh public authority means any person whose
functions are exercisable only in relation to Wales and includes the
National Assembly for Wales.
59D Persons exercising public functions: codes of practice
(1) The Disability Rights Commission may issue codes of practice in
relation to the performance by persons of duties imposed on them by
virtue of subsections (1) and (3) of section 59A.
(2) A code of practice issued in pursuance of subsection (1) must contain
such practical guidance as the Commission thinks fit in relation to the
performance of those duties.
(3) The Commission must, when requested to do so by the Secretary of
State, issue a code of practice dealing with the matters specified in the
(4) Before the Commission issues a code of practice it—
(a) must prepare and publish a draft of the code;
(b) must consider any representations made to it about the draft;
(c) may modify the draft accordingly.
(5) In preparing a draft code of practice the Commission must consult such
persons as it thinks fit.
(6) After the Commission has acted under subsections (4) and (5) it must
submit the draft code of practice to the Secretary of State who must
consult the Scottish Ministers and the National Assembly for Wales.
(7) After consulting the Scottish Ministers and the Assembly the Secretary
of State must—
(a) if he approves of the draft code, lay it before both Houses of
(b) if he does not approve of it, give the Commission a written
statement of his reasons.
(8) If, within the 40-day period, either House resolves not to approve the
draft code there are to be no further proceedings in relation to it.
(9) But the passing of a resolution as referred to in subsection (8) does not
prevent a new draft being laid before Parliament.
(10) If no resolution is passed as referred to in subsection (8) the
Commission must issue the code of practice (conforming in all material
respects to the draft laid before Parliament) and the code is to come into
effect on such day as the Secretary of State may (after consulting the
Scottish Ministers and the Assembly) by order appoint.
59E Persons exercising public functions: further provisions in relation to
codes of practice
(1) A code of practice—
(a) may be revised in whole or part by the Commission;
(b) may be revoked by an order made by the Secretary of State at
the request of the Commission.
(2) If the Commission revises the whole or any part of a code it must issue
the revised code and—
(a) section 59D(4) to (10), and
(b) subsections (3) and (4) below,
apply to the revised code as they apply to the first issue of a code.
(3) An order under subsection (10) of section 59D may contain such
transitional provisions or savings as appear to the Secretary of State to
be necessary or expedient in connection with the code of practice.
(4) Subsection (3) does not affect the powers conferred by section 67(2) and
(5) A failure to observe any provision of a code of practice does not by
reason only of that failure make a person liable in any civil or criminal
(6) But a code of practice is admissible in evidence in such proceedings and
a court or tribunal may take account of any failure to comply with its
provisions in determining any question in the proceedings.
(7) In section 59D(8) 40-day period has the same meaning in relation to a
draft code of practice as it has in section 3 in relation to a draft of
(8) In section 59D and in this section code of practice means a code of
practice issued under section 59D(10) (including a code issued in
pursuance of subsection (2) above).
59F Persons exercising public functions: compliance notices
(1) If the Commission is satisfied that a person has failed to comply with or
is failing to comply with any duty imposed on him by virtue of
regulations under section 59A(3) the Commission may serve on that
person a notice (a compliance notice).
(2) A compliance notice must require the person concerned—
(a) to comply with the duty concerned;
(b) before the end of the period of 28 days beginning with the day
on which the notice is served, to inform the Commission of the
steps that the person has taken, or is taking, to comply with the
(3) A compliance notice may also require the person concerned to furnish
the Commission with such other written information as may be
reasonably required by the notice in order to verify that the person has
complied with the duty.
(4) The notice may specify—
(a) the time at which information is to be furnished to the
Commission under subsection (3);
(b) the manner and form in which the information is to be
(5) The time specified for the purposes of subsection (4)(a) must not be
later than the end of the period of three months beginning with the day
on which the notice is served.
(6) A compliance notice must not require a person to furnish information
which the person could not be compelled to furnish in evidence in civil
proceedings before the High Court or the Court of Session.