Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2013 position: 23

New Acas guidance published on asking and responding to questions of discrimination in the workplace

The existing statutory framework under which individuals can ask questions about discrimination in the workplace will be repealed on 6 April 2014. It will be replaced by non-legislative best-practice Acas guidance setting out how job applicants and employees can ask questions about discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and how employers should respond to such questions.

Employers will be under no legal obligation to respond to such questions and employment tribunals will not be entitled to draw adverse inferences from either a failure to respond or from an equivocal or evasive response. However, an employer’s failure to respond (or an equivocal or evasive response) may be considered as a contributory factor by a tribunal when making their overall decision on a relevant claim. 

Section 138 of the Equality Act 2010 sets out the existing statutory framework under which individuals may obtain information from employers regarding alleged discriminatory treatment. The existing procedure allows the individual to ask any relevant questions aimed at finding out why he or she has been subjected to the alleged treatment…

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