IP, Technology & Data

Our colleagues over on EmploymentBlog have blogged a reminder that the specific equality duties on public authorities under the Equality Act 2010 are now in force in Scotland. These duties replace the previous disability equality duty under the old Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).
As part of its review, each public authority should review its policies and procedures in relation to IT and IT accessibility to ensure that they comply with the new public sector equality duties in relation to people with disabilities. Unlike the other general (largely reactive) non-discrimination duties, the public sector equality duty requires proactive steps, and the plans put in place under the new legislation should be an evolution of those put in place under the DDA.
This includes ensuring that ITTs for goods and services address IT accessibility, by way of reference to specific technical requirements, standards and award criteria in the ITT. For example, ensuring that a new IT system is suitable for use by disabled employees, or that a new website content management system produces pages that can be accessed by disabled users.
As Gemma notes, the equivalent duties came into force in England and Wales last year. You can find more guidance on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

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Martin Sloan

Partner at Brodies LLP
Martin is a partner in Brodies Technology, Information and Outsourcing group and has wide experience of advising clients on technology procurement and IT and business process outsourcing projects. Martin also advises on data protection (including the GDPR), and general technology and intellectual property law, and has a particular interest in the laws applying to social media and new technology such as mobile apps, contactless/mobile payments, and smart metering.
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