HL Deb 11 January 2005 vol 668 cc53-5WA
Lord Skelmersdale

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether in their consultation on the Disability Discrimination Bill they consulted Macmillan Cancer Relief, and [HL600]

Which organisations they have consulted on the Disability Discrimination Bill. [HL601]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

Many of the provisions in the Disability Discrimination Bill were the subject of proposals in the Government's 2001 consultation documentTowards Inclusion▀×civil rights for disabled people (Department for Education and Employment, March 2001). That document was mailed to around 6,000 interested bodies and organisations including organisations of and for disabled people, employers, service providers, trade and employer representative bodies, trade unions, public authorities and voluntary organisations.

In December 2003, we published the draft Disability Discrimination Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny. The draft Bill was considered by a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament in early 2004 and attracted around 125 written and oral submissions to the committee, including a submission from Macmillan Cancer Relief. A revised Bill, covering further measures that the Government accepted following the Joint Committee's report (Joint Committee on the Draft Disability Discrimination Bill, 27 May, HC 352-I, HL Paper 82-I), was introduced into Parliament on 15 November.

In July 2004 and December 2004, we published two further consultation documents which included proposals for using regulation-making powers contained in the Bill. The first document Delivering Equality for disabled people (Department for Work and Pensions, July 2004, Cm 6255) focused on the regulation-making powers in Clauses 2 and 3 of the Bill, and nearly 5,000 copies were issued to interested bodies. Eight regional consultation events were attended by around 700 participants, and a targeted event for people with learning disabilities was also held.

The second document, Consultation on private clubs; premises; the definition of disability and the questions procedure (Department for Work and Pensions, December 2004, Cm 6402) included, among others, proposals for using regulation-making powers to exclude certain cancers from the scope of the extended definition of disability. A direct mailing exercise was carried out to a range of representative bodies, including employers, landlords, organisations representing private clubs and specialist bodies dealing with cancer including Macmillan Cancer Relief.

The Department for Transport has consulted separately on lifting the Part 3 exemption for transport services in the DDA (an initial consultation in 2002 and detailed consultation on draft regulations launched in November 2004) and on the proposals to amend the rail provisions of Part 5 of the DDA (in November 2003). Those consulted included organisations of and for disabled people, transport industries, public authorities and trade unions.

Copies of the named consultation documents, which were also published in a wide range of accessible formats, are available from the Library.