The Department of Work and Pensions has come under fire from its staff, accusing it of disability discrimination. The latest staff survey has seen over 1,400 DWP civil servants claim incidences of bullying and harassment taking place at work, because of disability. These figures are up from more than 1,000 that was reported the previous year.
The DWP also faced criticism this year for sacking a DWP worker from her job at a disability centre in Blackpool, for taking too much sick leave. The civil servant was being treated for cancer when she was sent a letter advising her that her contract had been terminated due to her “unacceptable level of attendance”.
The DWP is itself tasked with leading the government’s attempts to deal with discrimination in the workplace. Through its Disability Confident Campaign, the DWP is urging employers to become ‘Disability Confident’ by recruiting disabled people and those with health conditions for their skills. Businesses are being encouraged to actively work to remove whatever may be stopping disabled people getting promoted within their company.
More people did respond to the 2015 staff survey than the previous years’, however the percentage of people claiming disability discrimination has increased. The results also showed that there were a larger number of reports of disability discrimination, compared to other discrimination such as gender, age or ethnic background.
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “Any form of bullying, harassment or discrimination, is unacceptable and where formally reported, it will be dealt with in the strongest possible way”.
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