Change in face coverings discrimination casework

Unfortunately we are having to dramatically reduce the number of face coverings cases we take on.  This is because:

 

  • We are a small company having only 5 staff.
  • The face coverings work is swamping other areas.
  • Service providers almost invariably seek to defend the indefensible and drag matters out as long as possible.
  • Staff are working ludicrous hours trying to deal with it and there is a risk to them unless we reduce demand.
  • Some customers form expectations we cannot meet.

 

So reluctantly we have had to bring in the following criteria for us to be able to take on a face coverings case:

 

  • The case must involve denial of access to essentials such as health-care, education or employment because you are disabled and cannot safely wear a face covering.
  • The guilty party must have confirmed its position in writing.

 

In most cases if a written complaint is made the organisation will change its position.  If, when you've made a complaint, the organisation insists it can bar you even though you have made clear you are exempt from wearing a face covering then let us know and we'll do everything we can.

If you still wish to pursue a court claim then here is a template face coverings discrimination letter.

Taking things further can be done using the Disability Attitude Readjustment Tool in England and Wales.

Alternatively you can use the Equality and Human Rights Commission advice service.

Or there is the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Please always remember there is usually a six month time limit for a disability discrimination claim, although for employment cases it is usually 3 months. 

Face coverings crisis intensified by easing of restrictions

Unfortunately the face coverings crisis increases with easing of restrictions where people are officially allowed to do more, but where ignorant service providers wrongly believe that people are only allowed to take advantage of services reopening if they are able to wear a face covering. 

All UK devolved governments have approved exemptions so that disabled people unable to wear face coverings are not excluded from society.  Services cannot reasonably make up their own rules that go beyond the face coverings regimes envisaged by UK legislatures, namely that most people have to wear face coverings in relevant places, but not those who are unable to wear one. 

The dangerous mob rule that has sprung up in pockets around the UK, where people favour a 100% face coverings regime with no legal basis and take it upon themselves to enforce it, is a disburbing development in society with a very sinister dimension.   No security guards, members of the public, shop staff etc have any right to try to enforce face coverings.  Enforcement agents are specified in the relevant regulations and typically comprise police officers, police community support officers and local authority officers only. 

Face coverings exemptions cover virtually all indoor service environments.  Individual business owners cannot legitimately declare their premises a private space where the law of the land does not apply.  There is also no legal basis for people seeking to enforce mask wearing outdoors.

Due to the further increase in cases this situation has caused, we regret we can only take on the most urgent and severe cases.  These are typically situations involving harassment and exclusion from essential services of disabled people clearly unable to wear a face covering.  Also please bear in mind that the majority of service providers DO respect face coverings exemptions most of the time.

We do, however, have our services face coverings discrimination letter.  Please note there is usually a maximum of 6 months to get your case to court from the date of the discriminatory incident.

Information about taking matters further can be found here .

Please note service providers are unlikely to cave in without a fight - there is no magic letter or notice that will make everyone see sense.  If you go to court there is always a risk factor.  The risk is less the poorer you are.

Some service providers are very aggressive about the issue of masks - it brings out the worse in people.  The only way to bring cases against them is in the courts.  There is no enforcement body that will enforce your rights unless a criminal offence is committed.  This can be the case in the more extreme incidents but usually it's a breach of civil rights, which is only enforceable by the victim bringing their own proceedings. 

Unless enough of us make a stand, the situation may well get worse and lead to further erosion of basic civil rights.