Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendments Nos. 79 and 80:


Page 56, line 38, leave out ("section 5") and insert ("sections 5 and 6").
Page 56, line 38, leave out from ("1995") to end of line 41 and insert ("(duty to make adjustments and circumstances in which less favourable treatment or failure to comply with the duty is justified).").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 7 [Modifications of this Act in its Application to Northern Ireland]:

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish moved Amendments Nos. 81 to 103:


Page 57, leave out lines 35 to 39 and insert—
("2.—(1) In section 3(1) for "Secretary of State" substitute "Department".
(2) In section 3 for subsections (4) to (12) substitute—
"(4) In preparing a draft of any guidance, the Department shall consult such persons as it considers appropriate.
(5) Where the Department proposes to issue any guidance, the Department shall publish a draft of it, consider any representations that are made to the Department about the draft and, if the Department thinks it appropriate, modify its proposals in the light of any of those representations.
(6) If the Department decides to proceed with any proposed guidance, the Department shall lay a draft of it before the Assembly.
(7) If, within the statutory period, the Assembly resolves not to approve the draft, the Department shall take no further steps in relation to the proposed guidance.
(8) If no such resolution is made within the statutory period, the Department shall issue the guidance in the form of its draft.
(9) The guidance shall come into force on such date as the Department may by order appoint.
(10) Subsection (7) does not prevent a new draft of the proposed guidance being laid before the Assembly.
(11) The Department may—
(a) from time to time revise the whole or any part of any guidance and re-issue it ;
(b) by order revoke any guidance.
(12) In this section—
"the Department" means the Department of Economic Development;

24 Oct 1995 : Column 1069

"guidance" means guidance issued by the Department under this section and includes guidance which has been revised and re-issued;
"statutory period" has the meaning assigned to it by section 41(2) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954."").
Page 58, line 17, after ("10(3)") insert ("in the definition of "charity" for "1993" substitute "(Northern Ireland) 1964",").
Page 58, line 22, at end insert—
(". In section 12(5) for "Great Britain" where it twice occurs substitute "Northern Ireland".").
Page 58, line 38, at end insert—
(". In section 17(6A)(b) for "Part VII of the Mental Health Act 1983" substitute "Part VIII of the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986".").
Page 59, line 19, leave out from ("if") to end of line 21 and insert ("such a licence was in force with respect to the vehicle at any time during the period of 28 days immediately before the day on which the licence is granted.").
Page 59, line 31, at end insert—
(".—(1) In section (Appeal against refusal of exemption certificate)(1) for "a licensing authority" substitute "the Department of the Environment".
(2) In section (Appeal against refusal of exemption certificate)(2) for "licensing authority concerned" substitute "Department of the Environment".
(3) In section (Appeal against refusal of exemption certificate)(3) for the words from "the magistrates' court" to the end substitute "a court of summary jurisdiction acting for the petty sessions district in which the aggrieved person resides.").
Page 60, line 17, at end insert—
("(3) In section 39(4) for "he" substitute "it".").
Page 64, line 22, at end insert—
(".—(1) In section (Restriction of publicity: industrial tribunals)(2) for "Secretary of State" substitute "Department of Economic Development".
(2) In section (Restriction of publicity: industrial tribunals)(7) for "Great Britain" where it twice occurs substitute "Northern Ireland".
. Omit section (Restriction of publicity: Employment Appeal Tribunal).").
Page 64, line 41, at end insert ("or who is a prison custody officer within the meaning of Chapter III of Part VIII of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994").
Page 65, line 3, at end insert ("or localities").
Page 65, line 15, after ("section") insert ("3(9),").
Page 65, line 37, at end insert—
(""benefits", in Part II, has the meaning given in section 4(4);").
Page 66, line 5 at end insert—
(""occupational pension scheme" has the same meaning as in the Pension Schemes (Northern Ireland) Act 1993;
"premises" includes land of any description;").
Page 66, line 6, at end insert—
(""profession" includes any vocation or occupation;").
Page 66, line 17, leave out ("Part II") and insert ("Parts I and II").
Page 66, line 24, at end insert—
(""section 6 duty" means any duty imposed by or under section 6;
"section 15 duty" means any duty imposed by or under section 15;
"section 18 duty" means any duty imposed by or under section 18;").
Page 66, line 27, at end insert—
(""trade" includes any business;
"trade organisation" has the meaning given in section 13;").
Page 66, leave out line 33.
Page 66, line 50, leave out ("arrangement or conditions") and insert ("conditions or requirements").

24 Oct 1995 : Column 1070


Page 66, line 50, leave out ("made, approved, or").
Page 67, line 14, leave out ("arrangement or conditions") and insert ("conditions or requirements").
Page 67, line 14, leave out ("made, approved, or").
Page 67, line 21, at end insert—
(".—(1) In Schedule 3A in paragraphs 2(1) and (5) and 7(1) and (5) omit "or sisted".
(2) In Schedule 3A in paragraph 4 for "Secretary of State" substitute "Department of Economic Development".
(3) In Schedule 3A in paragraph 6(1) omit "or, in Scotland, to the sheriff".
(4) In Schedule 3A omit paragraph 6(2).
(5) In Schedule 3A in paragraph 9 for "Secretary of State" substitute "Department of Health and Social Services".").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, your Lordships will be aware that Northern Ireland has its own separate body of legislation and administrative structures. Modifications to the provisions of the Bill in order that they fit in with the existing Northern Ireland legislation and structures are set out in Schedule 7. Further modifications to Schedule 7 are contained in these amendments to ensure that the provisions of the Bill are implemented in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the United Kingdom. I am certain that my final series of amendments will be widely welcomed in your Lordships' House.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

8.55 p.m.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: My Lords, I beg to move that the Bill do now pass. Before I let that last event of the Bill happen perhaps I may say a few words. It has taken us moderately into the evening to conclude our deliberations on the Bill. Overall, the Bill has tested our stamina, but I should like to think that the effort has been well worth while. The debates have been constructive and there has been a great deal of knowledge of the various aspects of the subject matter in your Lordships' contributions, as, of course, I have come to expect. Those have reflected the immense concern which the House reserves for the question of disability discrimination and the knowledge and experience which so many of your Lordships have.

I believe that we can be proud of our efforts. I am sure your Lordships will agree with me that we will be sending a greatly improved Bill back to the other place. The noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, was kind enough on a number of occasions to describe it as a good Bill, although this afternoon I noticed that she said "so nearly a good Bill". However, I feel that this evening I am justified in being a little more effusive.

As I have said before, we in government set ourselves a very tough task when we announced that we intended to eliminate discrimination against disabled people. The Disability Discrimination Bill represents a huge step forward towards this goal. It has been said elsewhere that it is the most visible landmark yet on the road to a more accessible society and a Bill which marks the United Kingdom out as a world leader in the crusade against discrimination. Those of your Lordships who have worked particularly assiduously over many years on behalf of disabled people realise more than the rest

24 Oct 1995 : Column 1071

of us how hard disabled people and their representatives have worked for this moment and how the Bill stands as much as an achievement of theirs as anyone's.

It would be wrong for me not to note the debt of gratitude that they and we owe to those of your Lordships who have worked so hard for disabled people and who, despite the reservations some might feel about the detail of the legislation, must be particularly proud this evening. I shall not read out a long list, although I think I shall proceed to do that, for fear of missing someone off it. However, perhaps I may in particular—I am sure other noble Lords will appreciate why I select them—pay tribute to the noble Lords, Lord Ashley and Lord Rix, the noble Lord, Lord Swinfen, who I sometimes find a little troublesome, if I may say so, my noble friend Lord Campbell of Croy and many other noble Lords on both sides of the House. I should like also to pay tribute to the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, and the noble Lord, Lord Addington, and their colleagues on the Front Benches for the helpful and perspicacious way in which they have addressed our proposals.

Our deliberations have been almost entirely convivial and the fact that the legislation has been so thoroughly considered and reconsidered bears witness to the constructive spirit in which we have all entered into these debates. I should also like to thank the officials who have helped me through this Bill. It has been a wide-ranging Bill. I am grateful to them. Indeed, I am sure that everyone is grateful, perhaps especially the Opposition parties, to those outside organisations which have given a good deal of briefing to your Lordships and to Ministers. I am grateful to those outside organisations which have come to meet me and have had many discussions with my officials.

Perhaps I may make one other point slightly away from the subject. This represents the end point of the fourth social security Bill of this Session. I understand that there is to be a painting of your Lordships' House. I indicated to someone that if it was for this year it should certainly have me standing at the Dispatch Box; but it should also probably have the noble Baroness, Lady Hollis, standing at the Opposition Dispatch Box, although, as we cannot stand up at the same time, I suppose that there might be some problems. The noble Baroness has dealt, as I have, with four Bills. She has orchestrated her team, but basically, as would be said in the electricity industry, she has carried the base load. I should like to pay tribute to her for all the work that she has put in. I am sure that her colleagues will feel the same. Indeed, they are probably relieved that the noble Baroness has been available to put in all that work and thus to save the finger being pointed at them.

Returning to the Bill, before the measure leaves us I should like to place on the record the scale of its achievements. Taken together, the provisions in the Bill amount to the most radical set of measures taken by any government to tackle discrimination against disabled people. It will be unlawful for employers to treat a disabled person less fairly. Disabled people will have a right not to be denied access to goods and services solely on the grounds of their disability. The Government will have the power to set minimum

24 Oct 1995 : Column 1072

standards of accessibility for public transport vehicles. The Bill will ensure that students, pupils and their parents will be better informed about the facilities available when choosing schools, colleges and universities. The National Disability Council will be established to keep the issue of discrimination under review and to advise the Government. The very extent of the endeavour is a little breathtaking and not a little daunting.

This is a Bill with which I am proud to have been associated. I know that it will be welcomed by all those who care about the creation of a fairer society and that it will be of immense significance for present and future generations of disabled people. I commend the Bill to the House.

Moved, That the Bill do now pass.—(Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish.)


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page