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Restaurants: Guide Dogs

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 7th June 2016.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if her will estimate the number of times people with guide dogs have been refused entry to restaurants in each of the last five years; and what steps she is taking to ensure that people with guide dogs are not refused such entry.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister for Equalities (Department for Education), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Government provides legal protection to people with guide dogs. The Equality Act 2010 requires service providers, including restaurants, to make reasonable adjustments for disabled customers, including those with assistance dogs. The Act also prohibits discrimination arising from disability where, for instance, a blind person is denied access to a restaurant, not because they are blind, but because they have a guide dog with them. We do not collect figures on the number of times people with guide dogs are refused entry to restaurants.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published guidance for businesses on this matter (https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/what_equality_law_means_for_your_business.pdf). Also, people who use guide dogs can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Services for free advice if they have any concerns about being denied access to restaurants because they have a guide dog.

Where a disabled person considers that they have been unjustifiably refused entry to a restaurant with their guide or assistance dog, they can complain to the owners of the restaurant and ultimately take action against the restaurant in the County Court.

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