Design and manufacture of goods

If a business designs or manufactures goods then equality law does not cover their business operations as they relate to designing or making goods.

A business does not have to make changes to their physical products, packaging or instructions.

They can also target the advertising or marketing of their products at a group with particular protected characteristics. You can read more about advertising and marketing.

There are two ways a business like this might be covered as a service provider:

  • If they provide information which is more than just an advertisement, they may need to supply this in alternative formats, if doing this would be a reasonable adjustment, which it may well be, although this depends on the circumstances. You can read more about reasonable adjustments to remove barriers for disabled people.
  • If the business sells or gives the goods they make directly to the public, then they will be covered by equality law as if they are a shop. You can use this guide to work out what this means for you.

So, for example, if a company sells its products by mail order, over the internet or through a factory shop, then it will have duties under equality law as a service provider.

More information

Last Updated: 23 Jul 2010