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Disability: Public Lavatories

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 25th February 2013.

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Photo of Bob Stewart Bob Stewart Conservative, Beckenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the need for disabled accessible and assisted toilets at public events to facilitate either side transfers for people in wheelchairs.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

When planning an event, organisers are required, under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010, to consider the needs of disabled people, and whether reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure that they are not put at a substantial disadvantage in attending or taking part in the event. This includes anticipating the need to provide disabled people with adequate accessible and assisted facilities at public events where it would be reasonable to do so.

What is reasonable in any particular case is ultimately for a Court to decide, but for example, a group of local volunteers with no significant financial backing running a small village fete with free entry would probably not be under a duty to make specific provision, although it would be wise to explore what other provision there may be nearby, such as in local businesses. However, a commercial promoter running a large event expecting thousands of paying visitors to an open air all day event would probably be under a duty to make sure there was toilet provision for disabled people who would otherwise be unable to access the event without significant disadvantage.

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