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EHRC published survey finds disabled people are treated unfairly at work

A survey of 4000 workers published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found disabled people and those with long term ill-health are facing higher levels of hostile and negative treatment in the workplace.

The British Workplace Behaviour Survey 2008, conducted by Cardiff University and the University of Glamorgan, found employees with a disability or long-term illness reported they were more likely to have negative experiences at work. These experiences range from low expectations of workers, bullying and humiliation to, in some cases, physical violence:

Culture of low expectations:

  • 25% of people with a disability or long-term illness said someone was continually checking up on them and their work when it was not necessary compared to 19.4% of people without a disability or long-term illness.

  • 19.3% of people with a disability or long-term illness said they were pressured by someone else to work below their level of competence compared to 13.5% of people without a disability or long-term illness.

Bullying and humiliation:

  • 22.5% of people with a disability or long-term illness said they had been the subject to persistent unfair  criticism of their work and performance compared to 13.4% of people without a disability or long-term illness.

  • 13.4% of people with a disability or long-term illness said they had been humiliated or ridiculed in connection with their work compared to 8.7% for people without a disability or long-term illness.

Violence:

  • 11.6% of people with a disability or long-term illness said they had experienced actual physical violence at work compared to 5.5% of people without a disability or long-term illness.

  • 8.8% of people with a disability or long-term illness said they sustained an injury in some way as a result of violence or aggression at work compared to 4.7% of people without a disability or long-term illness.

The Commission is set to demand protection is considered for disabled people from bullying and harassment in the work place in the forthcoming Single Equality Bill. The government has recently introduced welfare reforms to drive more disabled people back into work.

Nicola Brewer, Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission commented:

'In these difficult economic times we must do all we can to help as many people as possible to stay in work. If disabled people and those with long-term ill health are more likely to experience hostile and negative treatment at work, we risk losing both their talent and their economic contribution.

Ends

posted by Dizali Mentha

Associate Publisher

 

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