The rights of tenants to request adaptations to common areas of rented properties look set to be strengthened.
A green paper, the Discrimination Law Review, being published by the communities and local government secretary, Ruth Kelly, is intended to lead to a single equality bill designed to simplify and improve legislation and fill in gaps in protection for particular groups. Planned reforms include compelling private landlords to put in ramps and stairlifts for disabled tenants who request it, although the tenant would have to pay.
Discrimination law, which has grown up over the past 40 years, is currently contained in nine main pieces of legislation and some 90 statutory instruments, together with a range of guidance documents.
The government argues this complexity "acts as a barrier to fairness", and it suggests that a new, clearer act will help prevent discrimination "because everyone will know where they stand".
Discrimination legislation in the UK covers six categories: race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and religion. But each has different levels of protection. All six groups are protected against discrimination in employment, but a duty on public sector bodies not to discriminate covers only race, gender and disability.
Source - Guardian June 12