CRT has ignored a letter from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) informing it that it must meet its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to enable a boater who has a disability to communicate with the Trust. So far CRT has refused to communicate with the liveaboard boater in a way that accommodates his disability. The EHRC gave a 14-day deadline for CRT to meet its Equality Act obligations. Despite the fact that there is proof that the letter was delivered to CRT on 6th May, CRT has not responded and has not even bothered to acknowledge receipt of the EHRC’s letter.
The extent of the problem is so great that for several months the boater did not even know if CRT had served a Section 8 on his boat. Last month CRT demonstrated that it has clearly failed to make the reasonable adjustments that it is required to make, by serving an enforcement notice in writing. It is a very unusual step for the EHRC to write directly to CRT, because it does not normally carry out casework on behalf of individuals.
Richard Parry, CRT’s Chief Executive, was asked at the open boater meeting in Devizes on 21st May whether CRT would comply with the requirement in the EHRC’s letter. Mr Parry claimed that he had not seen the letter and did not have any knowledge of the matter. This is despite the fact that the letter was addressed to him by name and had been received 15 days before the open meeting. A breach of the Equality Act can lead to a prison sentence of up to 5 years. If an organisation is in breach, it is the head of the organisation who would be prosecuted.