What does the law say about disabled access in the UK?
Under the Equality Act 2010, organisations must take steps to ensure equal access to services for disabled and non-disabled people, where reasonably possible. The aim of the law is to ensure that nobody is treated less favourably because of their disability status.
This includes in employment, as well as goods and services such as shops, hotels, cinemas or any other premises open for the public to access.
Whether a change is deemed as reasonable can depend on:
- The practicality of making changes
- Whether the change would help disabled people to overcome the barrier they faced
- The size of the organisation in question
- The cost of making changes
By many objective measures, the installation of automatic doors could fall under the category of a "reasonable adjustment," and require them to be installed. Failure to do so could result in County Court Procedings as well as doing untold damage to your company's reputation.
Is my business compliant with the Equality Act?
The risk of being prosecuted means that it is essential to not wait until a disabled person needs to use your facilities. Instead, you need to prepare ahead and plan for what may be required. This can involve considering a range of impairments and barriers that people face, and considering how they can be implemented in your premises.
It is difficult to say when a business is or is not compliant with the Equality Act, as "reasonable adjustments" can vary from business to business. Where a single location store may be able to cite cost as an unreasonable demand, a government building, or large multi-location business might not be able to do so.
The best way to avoid this issue is to invest in adjustments before you need to find out the hard way.
Do I need automatic doors for disabled access?
As stated, a business may not be required to install automatic doors, however this will depend on whether they are considered to be a "reasonable adjustment," or not.
An automatic door detects the approach of a person to open without the need for a person to push or pull it open. This would clearly benefit visitors with a range of physical impairments, who may otherwise find it difficult to access the premises.
It may be a wise investment in your business to avoid any potential liability or reputational damage from being found guilty of non-compliance with the Equality Act.
You can read the Equality Act in its entirety to get a deeper understanding of your obligations as a business owner.
Automatic Doors from DT Services
If you've decided that it would be better to install automatic doors to ensure compliance with the Equality Act, consider DT Services for your installation.
DT Services Ltd have over 20 years' experience in automatic door installation and maintenance. We will help you decide on the best type of automatic door and which sensor would be best for your premises.
Just get in touch to speak to our engineers and book a consultation.