By Claire West

A report out today (11 October) from the Equality and Human Rights Commission reinforces how the statutory Codes of Practice for the Equality Act are needed to support employers in employing disabled people and serving disabled customers.

The EHRC's How Fair is Britain report is the first major study of its kind into the state of Britain's equality landscape. It brings together all available evidence about equality issues into one review.

The report shows that:

*Disabled men are substantially less likely to be in employment
than in the past.

*Disabled people are twice as likely to report harassment in the
workplace as non-disabled people.

*Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are substantially less likely to achieve 5 GCSE A-Cs as children without SEN.

Susan Scott-Parker, Chief Executive of Employers' Forum on Disability, said: "The statistics in this report make sobering reading. In many ways, they reinforce what we already know: the way the law is applied needs to make it easier for employers to get it right when employing disabled people.

"Otherwise, legal and regulatory frameworks will not address the causes of the equality outlined in this report. Employers see the role of EHRC as being to ensure the quality of the law, and that is applied credibly and consistently.

"Employers are still getting used to the very recent change in equality law. We look forward to the swift publication by EHRC and the Government Equalities Office of the Equality Act's statutory Codes of Practice on employment and access to goods, facilities and services.

"These Codes will support employers in employing disabled people and serving disabled customers. That is what will make a practical difference to the experience of disabled people."