Discrimination at work: goodbye questionnaires, hello penalties

On 6 April, a long-standing feature of the law prohibiting discrimination at work will change, when discrimination questionnaires are ‘abolished’. Questionnaires were first introduced in 1975 under the Sex Discrimination Act. Thus for nearly 40 years they have been a thorn in the flesh or a tool in the armoury of employment disputants, depending on which side they are on. They can be a means by which employees gain from their employers access to documents, statistical data, workplace policies and procedures or information about how comparators have been paid or treated.

The measure is being introduced as part of the government’s efforts to reduce the ‘red-tape’ burden on employers and the intention is therefore, in principle at least, that employers will not have to spend time (and potentially legal fees) responding to questions imposed by employees who wish to establish whether or not they have been discriminated against. It would seem likely that the reaction of most employers to a change of that nature is likely to be positive and that the intended effect of reducing the time and effort devoted to dealing with employment disputes will be achieved…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Withers briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Withers

  • Family law revolution

    22 April 2014 marked ‘the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes’, according to the president of the Family Division.

  • A day out with the Charity Tax Group

    Withers’ Graham Elliott discusses the points he found most interesting from this year’s Charity Tax Group annual meeting.

View more briefings from Withers

Analysis from The Lawyer

Browse This Firm’s


16 Old Bailey
City of London

Turnover (£m): 123.30
No. of lawyers: 313