News and Events

No cancers to be excluded from definition of disability

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This is not particularly 'hot' news, but it is quite important and has not been picked up (as far as I am aware) by any of the legal journals.

It is well-known that from 5th December 2005, cover under the DDA 1995 will be extended to include, effectively from the point of diagnosis, people with HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis.

There had been a previous indication that certain types of cancer were to be excluded from being deemed to be a disability. However, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State announced in the Commons a few weeks ago that "...following a review of evidence of the extent of discrimination faced by people with more minor forms of cancer, we have decided not to exercise the 2005 Act's regulation-making power which would allow us to exclude certain types of cancer from automatic coverage by the DDA 1995."

Other changes from 5th December will include the removal of the requirement that a mental illness be "clinically well-recognised" before it can be regarded as an impairment.

Click here to see the relevant extract from Hansard (scroll to third paragraph under the table)

[Thanks to Richard Lister of Lewis Silkin for notifying me of this.]