§ Mr. Garnier
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will issue a code of practice on access to goods, facilities, services and premises under part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. 
§ Mr. Burt
I have today laid a draft code of practice covering rights of access to goods, facilities, services and premises before Parliament under the powers contained in sections 51 and 52 of the Act. Proposals for the code were made by the National Disability Council following a very successful public consultation exercise. Response to the NDC's draft was favourable, with particular praise for the clear drafting and use of examples to explain the concepts contained in the Act.
In conjunction with the consultation by the NDC, the Government consulted on a number of proposals for regulations under part III of the Act. Regulations covering powers of attorney; insurance; guarantees and the exclusion of certain education-related services will be laid before Parliament in the near future.
The draft code of practice and the regulations will come into force on 2 December 1996, subject to parliamentary approval. The code will be published as soon as possible to give service providers, those involved in the selling, letting and managing of premises and others affected time to take account of its guide.
The Disability Discrimination Act is a huge step forward for disabled people. The code forms part of a co-ordinated framework of advice and guidance to ensure that the business community and disabled people are aware of their new duties and rights.
§ Mr. Garnier
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will issue guidance on the definition of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. 
§ Mr. Burt
I have today laid draft guidance before Parliament under the powers contained in section 3 of the Act. A draft of the guidance was issued as part of the recent consultation exercise carried out by the Department for Education and Employment. Many respondents to that consultation felt that the draft could be improved in terms of its structure and should provide fuller guidance. They also felt that the guidance in the draft should be put into context with references to the relevant provisions of the Act. The draft which I have laid before Parliament reflects these views. The Act defines disability as a physical or mental impairment which has substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. People who have had a disability in the past which met this definition are also protected by the Act. The guidance explains some of the matters to be taken into account in determining whether an impairment has this effect.
The guidance is not legally binding, but an industrial tribunal or court must take it into account where it appears to be relevant. In most cases it will be clear whether or not someone meets the definition of disability in the Act. The purpose of the guidance is to provide help where there is doubt over whether someone is disabled. It is designed primarily for courts or tribunals, but may also be of help to disabled people and businesses.531W
I have also laid regulations before Parliament which refine the Act's definition of disability. Proposals for the use of regulations on the definition of disability were also included in the DfEE's consultation exercise, and the regulations have been drafted to reflect views expressed. The regulations make it clear that addictions, anti-social behaviour and tattoos and body piercings will not entitle people to protection under the Act. They also make it clear that babies and young children are protected by the Act.
The regulations and the draft guidance will commence on 30 July 1996 subject to approval by Parliament.