C2 – Bingo: Individual staff error

Blaming an individual or third party agent error

Larger organisations frequently blame access failings or discrimination on their individual employees making an error or not following procedures properly, or blame a subcontracted organisation. Even when there have been multiple failings, which are clearly a systems or processes issue.

Organisations are usually legally responsible for the actions and behaviour of their own employees and subcontractors, unless they can prove they took all ‘reasonable steps’ to provide training and awareness of policies (Equality Act, Sections 108-110 and DDA, Section 58).

We recommend responding to this excuse with a reminder to organisations that they are responsible for the actions of their staff or agents. Ask for evidence of staff training around disability issues, and if the same thing has happened a lot, what action has been taken from earlier complaints or feedback.

Liabilities of employees and third parties in Codes of Practice

You may wish to read through the responsibilities, liabilities and legitimate reasons for defence of staff and agent actions in the Codes of Practice. You can use these in a complaint or Letter Before Action.

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