NDA Submission to the Review of Equality Legislation
The Government will draw on the findings of the public consultation both to inform the areas of consideration in the legislation as part of the review and to inform recommendations arising from the review. The recommendations arising from the review may take the form of recommendations for legislative changes, recommendations for policy development or recommendations for changes to the practical operation of the redress mechanisms.
In its submission, the NDA highlighted several points to consider:
- We advised that the definition of ‘disability’ under the Acts remain as broad and far-reaching as possible, so as to not exclude anyone from making a complaint of discrimination on that ground. We advised that some of the outdated, medicalised language be amended. However, we suggested that the current definition remains appropriate, in that it does not introduce a hierarchy of disability, it provides for past, present and future disabilities, it does not require several elements to be ‘proved’, and therefore remains a better option than its counterparts in legislation in other jurisdictions, or definitions provided by other pieces of legislation in Ireland or by the UNCRPD;
- We highlighted the need to review current exemptions under the legislation, for example exemptions via ‘legislated discrimination’ under Section 14, or broad exemptions granted to An Garda Síochána;
- We outlined several areas that require clarity and guidance in respect of the provision of reasonable accommodations;
- We made suggestions around inclusions in the legislation recognising the extent to which persons with disabilities are at increased risk of socio-economic discrimination;
- We proposed the inclusion of definitions for new and emerging terms, such as multiple and intersecting discrimination, and suggested wording for same;
- We advised enhancing the potential of the Public Sector Human Rights and Equality Duty;
- We made several suggestions around procedural amendments to enhance the operations of the WRC under the legislation;
- We emphasised the importance of robust and accurate data collection.