Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co

UK 200 2013 position: 25

Employment law 2014 preview: discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 sets out the questionnaire procedure that enables an individual who thinks he or she has been discriminated against to gather information from his or her employer. Employers are not legally obliged to respond to discrimination questionnaires, but a tribunal may draw adverse inferences from a failure to reply within eight weeks, or if the answers are evasive or equivocal.

Described by the government as failing to increase pre-hearing settlements and instead creating burdens and risks, this will be abolished from 6 April. In theory, employers should be in a stronger position to take a more robust approach towards requests for information, but will that in fact be the case?

Just because the statutory procedure is going, does not mean that individuals will not be allowed to ask questions of their employer…

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