In addition to the four forms of discrimination in the DDA, it is also unlawful to harass a disabled person.

Harassment occurs where, for a reason which relates to a person’s disability, another person engages in unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of:

  • violating the disabled person’s dignity
  • creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for him or her.

If the intention of the conduct is to create either of these effects, then harassment has occurred. If an action is not intended to harass, then it will only be considered harassment if the action is reasonably likely to produce the effects mentioned above. The perception of the disabled person should be taken into account when deciding whether harassment has taken place.

Employers’ approaches to harassment

It is unlawful for your employer to harass you for a reason related to your disability. Many organisations have internal anti-harassment policies. If yours has one of these policies, this would be your first way of dealing with harassment at work. If your organisation does not have a policy or its procedures do not deal with the situation very well, then you have the right to take your case further.

Last Updated: 29 Jun 2009