Discrimination questionnaire procedure repealed from 6 April 2014
Implementation date: 6 April 2014
Section 66 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 repeals the discrimination questionnaires procedure. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (Commencement No.6, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2014 brings s.66 of the Act into force.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 repeals s.138 of the Equality Act 2010, which sets out the procedure that enables an individual to obtain information from the employer about discrimination and provides for the information to be used as evidence in tribunal proceedings. The Government's rationale for the repeal of discrimination questionnaires includes that:
- it has seen no evidence to suggest that the procedure has had the intended effect of encouraging the settlement of claims without recourse to an employment tribunal, or has encouraged efficiency of the claims process for cases that reach a tribunal;
- some employers have concerns that the forms are "very long and technical";
- potential claimants can ask for records that go back years, resulting in many hours of staff time to complete the forms, even when the individual seeking the information is acting unreasonably;
- tribunals can take into account an employer's failure to complete the form, so employers are paying for legal expertise to help complete the form, resulting in an additional expense;
- repealing these provisions would not prevent individuals claiming that they have been discriminated against from using other means of obtaining information about the alleged discrimination; and
- the provisions go beyond what is required by EU law.