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DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS RISE

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The monthly figure for the number of cases received by ACAS under the ...
The monthly figure for the number of cases received by ACAS under the

Disability Discrimination Act reached 200 for the first time last

month. The March 1998 figure represents a steady rise in complaints

since the introduction of the Act in December 1996.

To date ACAS has received a total of 1981 cases, the majority of

which concern dismissal - the other cases concern detriment,

recruitmentand the duty of employers to make some reasonable

adjustment for adisabled person.

Speaking of the figures John Hougham, chairman of ACAS, said:

'Although the number of cases still seems relatively low they are

higher than cases falling under the Sex Discrimination Act or Race

Relations Act after these Acts had been implemented for a similar

length of time.

'If this points to a continuing rise in complaints under the

Disability Discrimination Act, one can only hope that ACAS's current

success in this area - with over 80% of cases being settled or

withdrawn before they reach an industrial tribunal - can be

maintained.'

Notes

1. ACAS conciliation officers have a statutory duty to seek to

promote settlements of complaints which have been or could be made to

an industrial tribunal under a wide variety of enactments providing

individual employment rights and protection.

2. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 became effective from

December 1996.

3. ACAS is an independent statutory body, not subject to

direction from any minister as to how it exercises its functions. It

is directed by a council consisting of the ACAS chairman and

employer, trade union and independent members. The ACAS mission is to

improve the performance and effectiveness of organisations by

providing an independent and impartial service to prevent and resolve

disputes and to build harmonious relationships at work.

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