Discrimination Questionnaires Scrapped
If you have ever been on the receiving end of one of these, you will have painful memories of the time and resources that it takes to trawl through staff and recruitment records and policies and procedures required to respond to a dissatisfied employee.
The Equality Act 2010 provided a procedure by which an employee alleging discrimination can gather information from their employer in the hope that it would support their case. It is true that employers were not legally obliged to answer but an Employment Tribunal could draw its own conclusions from a failure to do so.
It may therefore seem like good news that this procedure is abolished from 6 April. However, ACAS has issued new guidance as to how to respond to such enquiries when made in another way and Tribunals will still be able to take any response or lack of it into account.
With the increase of the qualifying period of service required to bring a claim of unfair dismissal, we can expect ever more employees trying to characterise their treatment as one of the many types of discrimination now on the statute books.
This underlines the importance of effective and demonstrable Equality and Diversity training for all employees and having in place strong policies regarding discrimination and dignity at work.