What is a statutory discrimination questionnaire?
A statutory discrimination questionnaire is a procedure, provided for by s.138 of the Equality Act 2010, that allows an individual who believes that he or she may have been discriminated against to ask the employer relevant questions about the matter. The questionnaire procedure can be used to obtain information about suspected discrimination in relation to all of the protected characteristics, ie age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. The procedure can also be used to obtain information in relation to an equal pay complaint.
A questionnaire is often used to try to elicit information from the employer to decide whether or not there are sufficient grounds to bring a discrimination claim, although it is possible for the complainant to submit a tribunal claim first and serve a questionnaire within 28 days of submitting the claim.
The questionnaire and the employer's answer to it can be used as evidence in relevant tribunal proceedings.
There are standard questionnaire forms, produced by the Government: one for equal pay complaints and one for compaints about all other types of discrimination, such as race or disability. There are also standard answer forms for employers to use to respond to the complainant's questions. However, it is not compulsory to use these forms, for example the questions or answers could be in the form of a letter to the other party.
The Government intends to use the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to repeal the statutory discrimination questionnaire procedure on the basis that it considers that it is too prescriptive and is open to abuse. The Government response to the consultation (PDF format, 356K) (on the Home Office website) on repealing the statutory procedure confirmed that the repeal will go ahead, but it is not known when this will come into effect. The questionnaire procedure will still apply to contraventions that occurred before the repeal is effected.
Is there a time limit for an individual to serve a statutory discrimination questionnaire on an employer?
Is there a time limit for answering a statutory discrimination questionnaire?
What kind of information can a complainant ask for in a statutory discrimination questionnaire?
What are the potential consequences if an employer does not respond to a statutory discrimination questionnaire?
Does an employer have to surrender confidential documents to an employment tribunal if so directed?
Can an employer request that other employees are not called to give evidence to an employment tribunal?
What does the phrase "without prejudice" on a letter mean?
Once employment tribunal proceedings have been started, does an employer have to go through Acas to make an offer to settle the case, or can it contact the claimant directly?
Does an employment tribunal have the power to strike out a weak case?
What can an employment judge do if he or she believes that a claim has little prospect of success?
What is the maximum amount of a deposit order?
Is there anything that an employer can do if it misses the deadline for submitting a response to an employment tribunal claim?
What are case management discussions?
What are pre-hearing reviews?
Who sits in judgment in employment tribunal hearings?
When can a tribunal claim be heard by an employment judge sitting alone?
Can an employer insist that an employment tribunal hearing remains confidential?
Must a person be authorised to represent a claimant at tribunal for reward?
How do witnesses give evidence at employment tribunal hearings?
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