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Changes to the definition of a disability

The Disability Discrimination Act (1995) is due to be amended to widen the definition of a disability to incorporate the following conditions: Cancer, MS and HIV. In addition mental illnesses for the purpose of being considered mental impairments under the Act are no longer required to be clinically well recognised.

The above changes come into effect in Northern Ireland on 31st October 2007 and are part of on-going incremental changes which will bring Northern Ireland into line with GB in relation to changes in the Disability Discrimination Act. The Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 has been phased in throughout 2007 with the final phase due in December 2007 thus ensuring the law is the same throughout the UK.

For more information on the above changes, please refer to our employment legislation web-page – 2007 Statutory Rule number 430.