By John Pring in Disability News Service.
The equality watchdog should be given greater powers that would allow it to take more legal cases against organisations that breach the Equality Act, a disabled former commissioner has told MPs.
Mike Smith, who chaired the disability committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) between 2009 and 2012, told the Commons women and equalities committee that it was impossible for many people to take legal action to enforce their rights under the Equality Act 2010.
Smith (pictured, centre), who is now chief executive of the disabled people’s organisation Real, said: “For many disabled people it’s de facto impossible to achieve justice in many areas.”
He said this particularly applied to cases alleging discrimination under the act by service-providers.
He and other equality experts who gave evidence to the committee yesterday (Wednesday), as part of its inquiry into how the EHRC is enforcing the act, said the commission needed to be able to take far more legal cases.
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