Click here to skip to content

Equality and Diversity Policy: Appendix 1

Glossary of terms

Definition of Disability

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 defines a disabled person as someone with “a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”

Harassment and Bullying


Harassment is defined as someone who harasses a person

(1) A person (A) harasses another (B) if—


(a) A engages in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected

characteristic, and

(b) the conduct has the purpose or effect of—

(i) violating B’s dignity, or

(ii) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or

offensive environment for B.

(2) A also harasses B if—

(a) A engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, and

(b) the conduct has the purpose or effect referred to in subsection (1)(b).

(3) A also harasses B if—

(a) A or another person engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or

that is related to gender reassignment or sex,

(b) the conduct has the purpose or effect referred to in subsection (1)(b),


(c) because of B’s rejection of or submission to the conduct, A treats B less

favourably than A would treat B if B had not rejected or submitted to

the conduct. Harassment is unlawful under the grounds of race, ethnic or national origins, sex, martial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment status, religion or belief and age. This is behaviour of an intimidating or hostile nature. It can be directed at women and men, service users and staff. It is uninvited, unwelcome behaviour, which causes a degree of distress to the recipient. Particular actions or behaviour could be seen as harassment even if not aimed directly at the recipient and not intentionally offensive. It should be remembered that the impact of the behaviour determines harassment and not the intent


There is no legal definition but Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. This is behaviour which is not necessarily based on a difference of race or gender or any other equality strand. Bullying involves belittling or intimidation of an individual and may arise from the misuse of managerial status or as a result of certain physical and mental characteristics. Bullying may also constitute harassment under this policy and be unlawful under employment equality regulations.

Please refer to the Harassment and Bullying and Discrimination policy for further details.

Positive action

Positive action describes measures targeted at a particular group that are intended to redress past discrimination or to offset the disadvantages arising from existing attitudes, behaviours and structures. e.g. the provision of training/ targeted advertising and recruitment literature for people of a particular racial group, or either sex, who have been under-represented in certain occupations or grades Positive action should not be confused with positive discrimination (i.e. choosing people solely on the grounds of their gender or racial origin, regardless of their capabilities), which is illegal in the UK. 

Vicarious Liability

This occurs when one person is liable for the negligent actions of another person, even though the first person was not directly responsible for the injury. For instance, an employer can be vicariously liable for the acts of a worker.

Back to top Back to top

By using this site, you agree we can set and use cookies. For more details of these cookies and how to disable them, see our cookie policy.