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Unison calls for legislation to change attitudes to bullying of disabled staff

More than a third of disabled workers are currently being bullied, according to Unison.

The report shows disabled people are among those who have been hit hardest by the recession and their health, morale, work performance and confidence have also been damaged by bullying behaviour.

More than a third (35%) said they suffered at the hands of bullies over the past six months, with 22% admitting that the problem is continuing.

Many believed their disability was the reason they were bullied or harassed.

Unison and Company magazine are calling for the Government to revise the current Dignity in the Workplace Bill to include an anti-bullying policy that is enforced by employers.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "These results are another kick in the teeth for disabled workers, who face many obstacles in their working lives and just want to earn a decent day's wage in an environment where they are treated with respect.
"Many people do not realise that a drip feed of bullying behaviour can be as devastating as a major incident. And they need to feel confident that seeking help will not result in further pain.

"Serious mental and physical illness is a common result for victims of bullying and this can have a serious effect for disabled workers.

"We need clear, enforceable bullying legislation to change attitudes now."