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The second provision is the power, given to employment tribunals in cases where an employer has lost a discrimination case, to ‘recommend’ the introduction of (or changes to) policies that affect all the employer’s employees – not just the employee who brought the case. However, as tribunals have no power to enforce these recommendations and there is no penalty on employers who do not implement them, it is felt that this provision has no real impact on workplace equality.
The final proposal is to scrap the formal “questionnaire” procedure in discrimination cases, whereby a Claimant can ‘go on a fishing expedition’ by asking a standard set of questions in the hope of ‘catching’ the employer. Many of these questions will be irrelevant to the case, but still have to be answered by the Respondent, and more relevant questions could be asked by other means, such as by letter.
The consultation closes on 7 August 2012 and full details can be found at: homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities.
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