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Re:commuting and discrimination

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  • amaynard@futureinclusion.com
    Someone with a medical condition, depending on its nature, might in the UK be classed as protected by the Disability Discrimination Act. In this case, if a job
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 1, 2007
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      Someone with a medical condition, depending on its nature, might in the UK be classed as protected by the Disability Discrimination Act.  In this case, if a job required travelling, an employer would have to justify requiring a driving licence if the applicant didn't have one.  If the applicant could demonstrate that the job could be done effectively using public transport the employer would have to make a 'reasonable adjustment' and waive the need to drive.  I haven't seen discrimination law used in any other way in relation to driving - you would need to demonstrate that a particular group of people (protected by law, e.g. from an ethnic minority) was less able to have learned to drive - arguably there are some groups of ethnic minority women to whom this might apply but it's stretching things...

      Alice


    • Simon Norton
      Thanks, Alice. There have been several cases where the type of roundabout argument you refer to has been used to sue against arbitrary discrimination of
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 1, 2007
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        Thanks, Alice. There have been several cases where the type of roundabout
        argument you refer to has been used to sue against arbitrary discrimination of
        whatever type. I wish that we could just have a law that ALL people are
        "protected" from arbitrary discrimination in the sense you describe,
        irrespective of their race, skin colour, religion, gender, age or sexual
        orientation, and are entitled to reasonable adjustment enabling them to use
        facilities irrespective of their disability, lack of access to personal motor
        transport, or inability to hold their bladders.

        For example, not directly concerned with transport, I remember a case some years
        ago when a group of youths who had been alleged to have been misbehaving, but
        where a criminal charge wasn't possible, were excluded from the (privately
        owned) shopping centre in Wellingborough without judicial process. Our main
        civil liberties organisation took up their case alleging discrimination because
        they were black. I don't remember what the outcome of this case was. But
        shouldn't white people be equally protected against such arbitrary exclusions
        from facilities that are an important part of the community ? Isn't the fact
        that they can't call the law on their behalf itself a form of racial
        discrimination ?

        I don't know whether such exclusion powers would exist for Cambridge's main city
        centre shopping centre. It too is privately owned, and the route through it used
        to be a public right of way but this was extinguished several years ago after a
        public inquiry (at which I gave evidence). The point is that the centre houses
        the main public library which provides access to information, so exclusion would
        impact on people's democratic rights. I should add that at present the library
        is some way through an extended closure for refurbishment, which has
        significantly inconvenienced me when needing some types of information, but I
        don't think this should affect the issue.

        Simon Norton
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