Legal obligations of public service bodies

What are the legal obligations of public service bodies?

Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005 sets out the legal obligations of public service bodies employing people with disabilities. 

Public service bodies are required to:

  • Promote and support the employment of people with disabilities. Section 47 (1) (a) of the Disability Act requires public bodies, in so far as practicable, to take all reasonable measures to promote and support employment by them of people with disabilities.
  • Comply with any Statutory Code of Practice. No statutory Code of Practice has yet been made. The Civil Service has a non-statutory Code of Practice.
  • Employ people with disabilities to number at least 3% of the workforce.
  • Report on compliance with these obligations. Public bodies must report to statutory Monitoring Committees in their parent department every year by 31 March. For civil servants, the report is to the Department of Finance Monitoring Committee.

Note: To report on compliance with the 3% target, public bodies need to know how many of the staff they employ have a disability. The Disability Act 2005 definition (given above) is the working definition to decide whether or not an employee is considered to have a disability.