Sectors

The Equality Act is a civil rather than building led legislation and it is not possible to provide a compliant building. It is the activity that falls under the Act, not the building. There is no technical guidance that relates to the legislation; furthermore, Building Regulations Approved Document M clearly states that meeting ADM may not be sufficient for meeting the anticipated requirements of the legislation; compliance with Building Regulations does not necessarily prove compliance with the EA.

Nevertheless, adherence with the legislation is obligatory; a building either enables or disables a person from accessing services, education or employment.

The Equality Act requires reasonable measures, has an anticipatory duty and for those undertaking a public service there are additional public sector duties. The legislative responsibilities are based upon a number of factors, including the ability to pay, reasonableness and for public bodies, the obligations of the public sector duty.

As stated, the legislation requires equality in use within the bounds of reasonableness; therefore, the function of a building, services provided or employee demographics will impact on the level of inclusivity required. Best practice guidance is available for many sectors, at JSA we understand the differences within each sector, diversity and user demographics.