Taking a discrimination case

New procedure when deciding to take a discrimination case

The implementation of the Equality Act on 1 October 2010 has changed the way you obtain information before taking a potential discrimination claim against an employer.

There is a process for people who think they may have been treated unlawfully to obtain information about possible discrimination, harassment, victimisation or other prohibited conduct and about equality of terms (equal pay) complaints. This works through two sets of forms, one for discrimination or other prohibited conduct complaints and the other for complaints about equality of terms.

Discrimination and other prohibited conduct

You can find the questionnaires and answer forms and the guidance on the Home Office website: Process for complaints under the Equality Act 2010.

The form is in two parts.

Part one: The person who thinks they may have been treated unlawfully can complete the questions form for discrimination and other prohibited conduct to help them get information from the person or organisation they feel is responsible.

Part two: The person or organisation questioned can complete the answers form for discrimination and other prohibited conduct to reply to these questions.

There is guidance available for both parties on the process and completing the forms Guidance is also available on the forms themselves for each question and answer.

Equality of Terms (equal pay)

The Equality of Terms (equal pay) questionnaires and answer forms and the guidance on the Home Office website: Process for complaints under the Equality Act 2010

Again, this form is in two parts.

Part one: The person who thinks that they have not been given equal contractual terms with a colleague of the opposite sex who does equal work can complete the questions form for equality of terms to help them get information from their employer.

Part two: The employer questioned can complete the answers form for equality of terms form to reply to these questions.

Guidance on the process and completing the forms is available to download. There is also guidance on the forms themselves for each question and answer. 

Important notice - deciding what questionnaire to use

You should only use the forms listed above if the possible unlawful conduct in question happened on or after 1 October 2010 or if it started before 1 October 2010 but continued on or after that date.

If the possible unlawful conduct took place before 1 October 2010, the Equality Act 2010 will not apply and these are not the right forms to use for obtaining information. Instead you will be covered by the provisions in the legislation that is repealed or revoked on 1 October and should use the individual forms that are specific to claims relating to each “protected characteristic” (race, disability, sex etc) and to equal pay.

Questionnaires and more detail about how discrimination and related claims arising before and after 1 October are dealt with can be viewed on our Key legislation page.

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