Papers in place to understand Equality Act

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The Government has published the final versions of forms that employees can use to understand if they have been discriminated against under the new Equality Act.

Workers who feel that their employer has discriminated against them, or that they have not received equal pay or have received less favourable contractual terms, are entitled to send their employer a form to obtain further information about the treatment.

The Equality Act’s Obtaining Information Order prescribes one form for an employee to pose questions to his or her employer about an act of discrimination that does not involve equal pay, and another form for an employee to pose questions to his or her employer about equal pay.

The new Equality Act raises many questions that employment tribunals and the courts will be answering in coming months. Michael Rubenstein, General Editor of Equality Law Reports, highlights a few:

– What can you ask former employers about the absence record of applicants for employment?
– What steps will employers have to take to avoid liability for harassment of employees by customers?
– What is a “shared disability”?
– What hypothetical comparisons are allowed for equal pay claims?
– Does “because” mean the same as “on grounds of”?
– How can you prove a dual discrimination claim?
– What will be regarded as “intrinsic to the work concerned” so as to fall within the exception in the new rules prohibiting pre-employment health inquiries?
– Will the new occupational requirement exception allow “customer preference”?

Equality Law Reports (EqLR), launched this week by Michael Rubenstein Publishing, will cover the world of discrimination law, including the key decisions of Employment Tribunals. Equality Law Reports (EqLR) is the UK’s first set of specialist discrimination reports, published monthly online and in print form.



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