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      Businesses unprepared for threats to disability rights post-Brexit

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      UK employers believe there will be no impact on disability employment following the UK’s exit from the EU next year, despite warnings that those with disabilities will be affected.

      According to a survey of 1,611 people, run by Business Disability Forum with YouGov in January 2018, many businesses feel nothing will change while three-quarters of business owners revealed there would be no effect on their ability to cater for the needs of disabled people.

      “Numerous economic forecasts point to a considerable impact on the UK during the transition out of EU Membership. Any rise in unemployment is likely to hit disabled people harder than it will the general population and risks growing the already huge disability employment gap,” said Diane Lightfoot, CEO at Business Disability Forum.

      “Likewise, a squeeze on budgets could slow progress in securing accessibility in our public places, transportation networks, and businesses.

      “Business Disability Forum is urging businesses to prepare for changes to the economic landscape after Brexit so that they are ready not only to mitigate risks but also to seize opportunities.”

      Business Disability Forum unveiled the research to senior figures from the business world on February 8.

      The event aimed to examine ways that the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit could be approached.

      Meanwhile, in the same survey, 37 per cent of small business owners cited that that did not think Brexit would have any effects on the disability law.

      Bela Gor, head of campaigns, resources and legal at Business Disability Forum, added: “Significant parts of the Equality Act 2010 have basis in EU law, so we must ensure that laws around disability discrimination and inclusion are not put at risk.

      “Our members were instrumental in securing the landmark Disability Discrimination Act in 1995 and businesses, government and third-sector organisations must work together to ensure that these legal foundations are protected to ensure the best possible Brexit for disabled people.”

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      Jade Burke

      Jade Burke, Editor for PA Life

      All stories by: Jade Burke