Disability Rights Commission Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords

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Conciliation of disputes under Part III of the 1995 Act.     9. For section 28 of the 1995 Act (arrangements by the Secretary of State with a view to the settlement of disputes under Part III) there shall be substituted the following section-
"Conciliation of disputes.     28. - (1) The Commission may make arrangements with any other person for the provision of conciliation services by, or by persons appointed by, that person in relation to disputes arising under this Part.
    (2) In deciding what arrangements (if any) to make the Commission shall have regard to the desirability of securing, so far as reasonably practicable, that conciliation services are available for all disputes arising under this Part which the parties may wish to refer to conciliation.
      (3) No member or employee of the Commission may provide conciliation services in relation to disputes arising under this Part.
      (4) The Commission shall ensure that any arrangements under this section include appropriate safeguards to prevent the disclosure to members or employees of the Commission of information obtained by a person in connection with the provision of conciliation services in pursuance of the arrangements.
      (5) Subsection (4) does not apply to information relating to a dispute which is disclosed with the consent of the parties to that dispute.
      (6) Subsection (4) does not apply to information which-
    (a) is not identifiable with a particular dispute or a particular person; and
    (b) is reasonably required by the Commission for the purpose of monitoring the operation of the arrangements concerned.
      (7) Anything communicated to a person while providing conciliation services in pursuance of any arrangements under this section is not admissible in evidence in any proceedings except with the consent of the person who communicated it to that person.
      (8) In this section "conciliation services" means advice and assistance provided by a conciliator to the parties to a dispute with a view to promoting its settlement otherwise than through the courts."
Procedure for amending s.7(1) of the 1995 Act.     10. For subsections (3) to (10) of section 7 of the 1995 Act (exemption for small businesses) there shall be substituted the following subsections-
    "(3) Before making an order under subsection (2) the Secretary of State shall consult-
    (a) the Disability Rights Commission;
    (b) such organisations representing the interests of employers as he considers appropriate; and
    (c) such organisations representing the interests of disabled persons in employment or seeking employment as he considers appropriate.
      (4) The Secretary of State shall, before laying an order under this section before Parliament, publish a summary of the views expressed to him in his consultations."
Regulations.     11. - (1) Any power under this Act to make regulations is exercisable by statutory instrument.
      (2) Any such regulations may make-
    (a) different provision for different cases or areas;
    (b) provision enabling a person to exercise a discretion in dealing with any matter; and
    (c) incidental, supplemental, consequential or transitional provision.
      (3) A statutory instrument containing any such regulations shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
Interpretation.     12. - (1) In this Act-
    "Commission" means the Disability Rights Commission;
    "formal investigation" means an investigation under section 3;
    "non-discrimination notice" means a notice under section 4;
    "notice" means notice in writing;
    "prescribed" means prescribed in regulations made by the Secretary of State; and
    "the 1995 Act" means the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
      (2) Expressions used in this Act which are defined for the purposes of the 1995 Act have the same meaning in this Act as in that Act.
Consequential amendments and repeals.     13. - (1) Schedule 4 (minor and consequential amendments) has effect.
      (2) The enactments mentioned in Schedule 5 are repealed to the extent specified.
Crown application.     14. This Act binds the Crown (but does not affect Her Majesty in her private capacity or in right of Her Duchy of Lancaster or the Duke of Cornwall).
Short title, commencement and extent.     15. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Disability Rights Commission Act 1999.
      (2) This Act (apart from this section) shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint; and different days may be appointed for different purposes.
      (3) An order under subsection (2) may contain transitional provisions and savings relating to the provisions brought into force by the order.
      (4) The following provisions extend to Northern Ireland-
    (a) section 13(1), in relation to paragraph 1, 2 and 4 of Schedule 4; and
    (b) section 13(2), in relation to the repeal of words in the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, the Northern Ireland Assembly Disqualification Act 1975 and section 70(7) of the 1995 Act.
      (5) Except as mentioned in subsection (4), this Act does not extend to Northern Ireland.
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Prepared 4 December 1998