Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The ill-treatment of employees with disabilities in British workplaces

an article by Ralph Fevre, Amanda Robinson and Trevor Jones (Cardiff University, UK) and Duncan Lewis (Plymouth University, UK) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 27 Number 2 (April 2013)


There are few quantitative studies that show the workplace is experienced in a different way by employees with disabilities.

This article fills this gap using data from the British Workplace Behaviour Survey, which found that employees with disabilities and long-term illnesses were more likely to suffer ill-treatment in the workplace and experienced a broader range of ill-treatment. Different types of disability were associated with different types of ill-treatment.

The survey also showed who employees with disabilities blamed for their ill-treatment and why they believed the ill-treatment had occurred.

Drawing on the existing literature, four possible explanations for ill-treatment are considered:
  • negative affect raises perceptions of ill-treatment;
  • ill-treatment leads to health effects;
  • ill-treatment results from stigma or discrimination;
  • ill-treatment is a consequence of workplace social relations.
Although some of these explanations are stronger than others, the discussion shows that more research is required in order to decide between them.

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