It is against the law for service providers to treat people with disabilities less favourably because of their disability, or because they have a guide or assistance dog with them.
Making “reasonable adjustments” might mean giving extra help, such as guiding someone to a restaurant table, or making some changes to the way you provide your services to make it easier for those with assistance dogs to use them. It certainly includes allowing guide dogs and assistance dogs into all public places with their owners.
Guide dog and assistance dog owners have important rights under the Equality Act 2010. The EA provides for disabled people to have the same right to services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else.
According to ADI the definition of an Assistance Dog is as follows:
A generic term for a guide, hearing or service dog specifically trained to do more than one task to mitigate an individual’s disabilities. The presence of a dog for protection, personal defence, or comfort does not qualify that dog as an assistance dog.
If you offer a service to members of the public whether for payment or not, whether you are a business or a public service this explains what your legal duties are to assistance dog owners under the Equality Act 2010
Equality Act 2010
2010 c. 15 Part 2 Chapter 1 Section 6 – Disability
1 – A person (P) has a disability if –
(1) P has a physical or mental impairment, and
(2) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on P’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities
2 – A reference to a disabled person is a reference to a person who has a disability.
3 – In relation to the protected characteristic of disabilities –
(1) a reference to a person who has a particular protected characteristic is a reference to a person who has a particular disability;
(2) a reference to persons who share a protected characteristic is a reference to persons who have the same disability.
4 – This Act (except Part 12 and section 190) applies in relation to a person who has had a disability as it applies in relation to a person who has the disability; accordingly (except in that Part and that section) –
(1) a reference (however expressed) to a person who has a disability includes a reference to a person who has had the disability, and
(2) a reference (however expressed) to a person who does not have a disability includes a reference to a person who has not had the disability.
5 – A Minister of the Crown may issue guidance about matters to be taken into account in deciding any question for the purposes of subsection (1).
6 – Schedule 1 (disability: supplementary provision) has effect.
2010 c. 15 Part 2 Chapter 2 Adjustments for disabled persons Section 20 – Duty to make adjustments
20 Duty to make adjustments
1 – Where this Act imposes a duty to make reasonable adjustments on a person, this section, sections 21 and 22 and the applicable Schedule apply; and for those purposes, a person on whom the duty is imposed is referred to as A.
2 – The duty comprises the following three requirements.
3 – The first requirement is a requirement, where a provision, criterion or practice of A’s puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.
4 – The second requirement is a requirement, where a physical feature puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.
5 – The third requirement is a requirement, where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.
6 – Where the first or third requirement relates to the provision of information, the steps which it is reasonable for A to have to take include steps for ensuring that in the circumstances concerned the information is provided in an accessible format.
7 – A person (A) who is subject to a duty to make reasonable adjustments is not (subject to express provision to the contrary) entitled to require a disabled person, in relation to whom A is required to comply with the duty, to pay to any extent A’s costs of complying with the duty.
8 – A reference in section 21 or 22 or an applicable Schedule to the first, second or third requirement is to be construed in accordance with this section.
9 – In relation tot he second requirement, a reference in this section or an applicable Schedule to avoiding a substantial disadvantage includes a reference to –
(1) removing the physical feature in question,
(2) altering it, or
(3) providing a reasonable means of avoiding it.
10 – A reference in this section, section 21 or 22 or an applicable Schedule (apart form paragraphs 2 to 4 of Schedule 4) to a physical feature is a reference to –
(1) a feature arising from the design or construction of a building,
(2) a feature of an approach to, exit from or access a building,
(3) a fixture or fitting, or furniture, furnishings, materials, equipment or other chattels, in or on premises, or
(4) any other physical element of quality
11 – A reference in this section, section 21 or 22 or an applicable Schedule to an auxiliary aid includes a reference to an auxiliary service.
12 – A reference in this section or an applicable Schedule to chattels is to be read, in relation to Scotland, as a reference to movable property.
13 – The applicable Schedule is, in relation to the Part of this Act specified in the first column of the Table, the Schedule specified in the second column.
2010 c. 15 Part 2 Chapter 2 Discrimination Section 15 – Discrimination arising from disability
15 Discrimination arising from disability
(1) A person (A) discriminates against a disabled person (B) if –
a) A treats B unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of B’s disability, and
b) A cannot show that the treatment is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
(2) Section (1) does not apply if A shows that A did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, that B had the disability.