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Disability: Bullying

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 8th December 2017.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Women & Equalities Minister, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues about the scale of bullying of disabled people.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Government responsibility for disability matters resides with the Office of Disability Issues within the Department for Work and Pensions. My Rt hon. Friend, the Minister for Women and Equalities, has not had specific discussions with cabinet colleagues on the scale of bullying of disabled people.

The Government does not tolerate bullying in any form and any sector of our society.

Under the Equality Act 2010, ‘unwanted or prohibited conduct’ related to a protected characteristic (including disability) that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them, is unlawful. Bullying behaviour may also, in some circumstances, be proscribed by the victimisation provisions of the Act.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) record the number of calls they receive about harassment and victimisation of disabled people. They reported that between 1 October 2016, when the current EASS contract started, and 31 October 2017 there were 590 contacts from disabled people about harassment or victimisation, out of a total of 11,817 disability-related calls.

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