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Dealers warned of disability rule deadline

Motor industry retailers who have not updated their services and employment practices to take into account disabled customers and staff could face prosecution after Friday.

Changes to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) coming into force that day mean that businesses may need to make adjustments to their physical layout for customers, as well as to their recruitment, employment, and dismissal policies for staff.

Nick Jones, the Retail Motor Industry Federation's, human resources director, says: "Premises need to be accessible and practical for customers with a range of disabilities. If they are not already accessible, changes may need to take place."

Small businesses with fewer than 15 staff will be covered by the DDA for the first time.

Disabled staff will receive greater protection from discrimination during employment, as well as in the recruitment and dismissal processes.

Jones adds: 'Employers will be expected to remove barriers, both in terms of surroundings and procedures to facilitate a better working environment for disabled staff.'

Fact sheets on these changes are available to RMI members at www.rmif.co.uk inside the legal services section of the members-only website.

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