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The Framework Directive for equal treatment in employment and occupation: an analysis from a disability rights perspective

By R. Whittle


<p>The purpose of this paper is to analyse the recently adopted directive establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation from a disability rights perspective. The adoption of this directive represents merely the first stage in the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds falling within its protective remit. The next and arguably most important stage is the implementation of this directive into national law. Of the protected grounds, disability offers what is arguably the greatest challenge for national authorities in the implementation process. It demands flexibility in the legislative approach traditionally used to combat discrimination as well as the introduction of new legal concepts into the national legal order of most Member States. Whilst European Disability Non-Governmental Organisations, together with the European Parliament, are calling on the Commission of the European Union to propose a more expansive directive prohibiting disability discrimination, it is first crucial to ensure that the core aspects of the recently adopted directive are clearly understood and correctly implemented from a disability rights perspective. These core aspects include the definition of disability, the concepts of direct and indirect discrimination, and the duty to provide reasonable accommodations. Given that these core aspects will be common to any disability non-discrimination law, no amount of coverage beyond the context of employment and occupation will compensate for the subsequent loss of opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of disabled people if they are not appropriately addressed.</p

Year: 2002
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