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Law: Use of Discrimination Questionnaires put into context

Clients may be aware that there is a procedure under discrimination legislation whereby someone who believed they have been discriminated against can issue a questionnaire in a certain format to ‘draw’ the other side on policies and procedures that are in place (or not) to avoid discrimination.

A questionnaire must normally be served within three months of the discriminatory act and a reply must be given with eight weeks.

In a recent case (D’Silva v NATFHE) the point was reiterated that employers aren’t under a duty to reply to such questionnaires and without other evidence it does not automatically raise a presumption of discrimination.

The presiding judge stated “time and money should not be spend pursuing the point”.

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