13 September 2010 #Employment
Employees who suspect that their employer has discriminated against, harassed or victimised them, or believe that they have not received equal pay, can use questionnaires to ask their employer about their treatment.
Two forms are available. One for asking questions regarding discrimination involving equal pay, the second for all other issues. Response forms for employers have also been published.
The Questionnaire procedure can help settle complaints early on in litigation as it allows Claimant`s to identify whether or not they have grounds to make a claim and enables both employee and employer to identify the issues in dispute as well as thinking of their legal position in relation to the questions and answers received.
Any question or answer in a questionnaire is admissible as evidence in employment tribunal proceedings. An employer does not have to respond to a questionnaire, but if it does not reply within eight weeks, or gives an evasive or equivocal answer, a tribunal is entitled to draw inferences from this.
If a questionnaire is served outside of the strict time limit, no inferences can be drawn if the employer fails to reply unless the Tribunal has granted the employee an extension of time to serve.
Questions can be sent before making a claim to the Employment Tribunal, at the same time, or after.
If sending before a claim, then the questions must be received by the employer no later than three months after the alleged act of unlawful discrimination.
If a claim has already been filed the questions must be received by the employer no later than: