Revision of the Disability Discrimination Act affecting private organisations
Switzerland has made significant strides towards equality for people with disabilities in recent years, especially regarding building and public transportation accessibility. Nevertheless, the Swiss Federal Council asserts that further measures are required regarding labour and services. On 10 March 2023, the Federal Council therefore instructed the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) to draw up a consultation draft for a partial revision of the Federal Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Once this was available, the Federal Council initiated the consultation process for a partial revision of the DDA on 8 December 2023. The new law, according to the Federal Council’s press release, seeks to enhance protections for individuals with disabilities against employment and service discrimination. Sign language will be acknowledged as well. Four priority initiatives in the domains of housing, services, employment, and participation supplement the suggested legal framework enhancements.
The proposed changes also affect private companies: At present, comprehensive protection against discrimination for individuals with disabilities is limited to situations in which the state is the employer or provider of services. Therefore, the preliminary draft proposes to expand safeguards against both explicit and implicit forms of discrimination in the context of private employment relationships and services. The Federal Council considers necessary to require employers and service providers to implement measures that prevent discrimination. These precautions must, on the one hand, be reasonable for the organisation in question. On the other, they should be viable options for mitigating discrimination within a particular context. This entails the responsibility to provide accessible online services and to facilitate more flexible work hours for employees with disabilities, among other things.
The consultation draft, the explanatory report and the accompanying letters can be consulted online. The consultation period lasts until 5 April 2024.
These are the upcoming dates for our Annual General Meetings:
Thursday, 21 March 2024
Thursday, 20 March 2025