Challenged over face coverings? — Scope | Disability forum
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Challenged over face coverings?

Hi, My name is Rosa & I am seeking to hear from anyone here who has experienced being challenged for not wearing a face covering despite lawful exemption?
I am in process of writing a complaint letter to ASDA store as I was unlawfully obliged to give reason of exemption for my daughter accompanying me as I rely on lipreading. I am severely hearing impaired & wear 2 aids. A very distressing experience as masked staff also commented I don't seem to have any trouble hearing him. I understand I have cause to a claim under Equality Act, but I would like to hear if anyone may have more advice or experience to share tips from that may assist me?

Many thanks for reading.


  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rosa_Deo

    Good Evening.

    I am one of the Community Champion’s here at Scope.

    Sorry but I am still shielding so I am not able to offer you some help.

    I do hope that some of our other members will be able to help you.

  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,733 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rosa_Deo welcome to scope, I think in fairness everybody is learning the rope re:the wearing/not wearing of mask, i'm not sure what you mean by "claim under the equality act" ?
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    May i ask what you mean by a claim under the equity act? A claim for what?
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,545 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @rosa_alba!  Here is some information about face coverings, exemption rules and exemption cards which you might find helpful. :)

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @rosa_alba - & welcome to the community. Whilst I was looking online for a face covering for myself, I saw some lip reading face masks, which may help, if you just google these. :)
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 16,410 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community, maybe you should get an exemption card as mentioned above.

     I agree it isnt right you being questioned but then again the staff are only dong there job and this is also a new situation for them and a lot of them were fearful of having to challenge customers about masks

    Retail staff are often the brunt of peoples frustrations and I think we could all show them more appreciation for what they do for min wage

    Good luck if you want to claim though I dont quite understand what you think you can claim for 
  • Rosa_Deo
    Rosa_Deo Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I understand a number of legal issues are involved in challenging re face coverings that breach Equality Act. Sharing a few for those that have asked:

    Businesses/public places have duty under Equality Act 2010 (section 20) to make adjustments to avoid disadvantaging those disabled by instructing their agents/employees to refrain from asking regarding face coverings altogether. If entry is refused to a disabled person, whether disability is known of or not, they are prima facie liable to them.

    Although stating (or showing a badge) you have reasonable excuse exemption under Coronavirus regulations, to feel/be obliged to explain reason for exemption & disclose details associated with your disability is considered a breach of right to privacy & an act of disability discrimination under Equality Act 2010 (section 112 Aiding contraventions).

    Distress compounded by further offensive words spoken can be considered as bullying &/or hate crime motivated by hostility because you are using disability exemption from wearing mask/face covering. Principle (any business/public place), is responsible for the actions of their agent/s, further liable to compensate for injury to feelings under section 119 of the same (Remedies).

    Thanks for the comments. I'll let you know how I get on.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 31,239 Disability Gamechanger
    Really? Wouldn't a simple explaination be all that's needed? I agree with others, the face coverings rule is still very new to everyone.

    My daughter is doesn't wear one either because of her disability. I bought her an excemption card from the internet, along with the lanyard. She wears in around her neck when we go out because of fear from her that she will be approached. Yes people have looked across to her but obviously they see what she's wearing and she hasn't yet been approached. If she is then i will simply explain. No harm done and then we can just carry on with our shopping.

    I'm all for the simple life... this just seems a little over the top and yes i'm disabled too.


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