If you believe you have been discriminated against at work then you have the right to engage in the ‘formal questions procedure’ under the Equality Act 2010.
The questions procedure comprises a questionnaire (which you compile) of questions you want answers to about your discrimination case. The responses can be really helpful in helping you build evidence to support your discrimination case.
The Working Families website provides excellent guidance which you can read here on how to devise appropriate questions, together with an example of a completed questionnaire.
How to ask the right questions?
The most important advice we can give you here is to ask direct and pertinent questions and ask for disclosure of clearly identified documents. Much like the approach to gathering evidence generally, if you are too wide-ranging in your questions, or in your request for disclosure, then it is likely that your answers will be rebuffed or your request for disclosure not completed adequately.
Try to focus on the specific areas where you think you have been treated less-favourably, under just a few main headings, and then ask direct questions under those headings. The employer must then either answer those questions, or risk drawing an adverse inference at an employment tribunal – in other words, if they don’t answer your questions in a straightforward manner, the tribunal will probably think less of their case.
The same goes for requests for documents under the questions procedure: the more focussed the request the more reasonable it will seem, and if the employer doesn’t comply they risk drawing an adverse inference at an tribunal.
When to submit your completed discrimination questionnaire?
Because of the need for focus in the questionnaire, the ideal time to submit one is usually:
- after you have a good idea of the nature of your discrimination case
- after you have exhausted your search for documents in the usual manner
- when you are able to make your points clearly and concisely.
If your employer, a colleague or anyone else is discriminating against you at work and you have the evidence to support such action, then you will have a strong case to make a claim for financial compensation, either via a settlement agreement or at an employment tribunal.
Discrimination cases are often complex and usually sensitive and you would most likely do best to get legal representation rather than try to conduct a ‘do-it-yourself’ case.
Monaco Solicitors are experienced employment law specialists, with a particularly strong track record in successfully representing individuals who have been discriminated against.
- Evidence gathering in employment disputes: Making audio & video recordings
- Can employers monitor my communications?
- Discrimination questionnaire – Am I being discriminated against at work?
- Evidence gathering in employment disputes: Emails, letters & documents
- Witness evidence for settlement agreements
- Subject access requests made by employees