Discrimination may be direct or indirect and it may occur intentionally or unintentionally. Direct discrimination occurs where someone is put at a disadvantage for a reason related to one or more of the grounds set out in the discrimination and bullying clause. For example, rejecting a person of one race because it is considered they would not “fit in” on the grounds of their race could be direct discrimination. Indirect discrimination occurs where an individual is subject to an unjustified provision, criterion or practice which puts them at a particular disadvantage because of, for example, their sex or race. For example, a height requirement would be likely to eliminate proportionately more women than men. If this criteria cannot be objectively justified for a reason unconnected with sex, it would be indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of sex. Discrimination also includes victimisation (less favourable treatment because of action taken to assert legal rights against discrimination or to assist a colleague in that regard) and harassment.
Harassment is any unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. A single incident can amount to harassment. It also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past. Unlawful harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment), or it may be related to a Protected Characteristic. Harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Harassment may include (this is a non-exhaustive list), for example: (a) unwanted physical conduct or "horseplay", including touching, pinching, pushing and grabbing; (b) unwelcome sexual advances or suggestive behaviour (which the harasser may perceive as harmless); (c) offensive e-mails, text messages or social media content; (d) mocking, mimicking or belittling a person's disability. A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if the jokes create an offensive environment.
Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation. Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. Bullying may include (this is a non-exhaustive list), by way of example: (a) physical or psychological threats; (b) overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision; (c) inappropriate derogatory remarks about someone's performance; Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of another person’s performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to someone in the course of their work or training, will not amount to bullying on their own.