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Employment Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

42Equal pay: questionnaires

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

In the Equal Pay Act 1970 (c. 41), after section 7A there is inserted—

7BQuestioning of employer

(1)For the purposes of this section—

(a)a person who considers that she may have a claim under section 1 above is referred to as “the complainant”, and

(b)a person against whom the complainant may decide to make, or has made, a complaint under section 2(1) or 7A(3) above is referred to as “the respondent”.

(2)With a view to helping a complainant to decide whether to institute proceedings and, if she does so, to formulate and present her case in the most effective manner, the Secretary of State shall by order prescribe—

(a)forms by which the complainant may question the respondent on any matter which is or may be relevant, and

(b)forms by which the respondent may if he so wishes reply to any questions.

(3)Where the complainant questions the respondent (whether in accordance with an order under subsection (2) above or not), the question and any reply by the respondent (whether in accordance with such an order or not) shall, subject to the following provisions of this section, be admissible as evidence in any proceedings under section 2(1) or 7A(3) above.

(4)If in any proceedings under section 2(1) or 7A(3) above it appears to the employment tribunal that the complainant has questioned the respondent (whether in accordance with an order under subsection (2) above or not) and that—

(a)the respondent deliberately and without reasonable excuse omitted to reply within such period as the Secretary of State may by order prescribe, or

(b)the respondent’s reply is evasive or equivocal,

it may draw any inference which it considers it just and equitable to draw, including an inference that the respondent has contravened a term modified or included by virtue of the complainant’s equality clause or corresponding term of service.

(5)Where the Secretary of State questions an employer in relation to whom he may decide to make, or has made, a reference under section 2(2) above, the question and any reply by the employer shall, subject to the following provisions of this section, be admissible as evidence in any proceedings under that provision.

(6)If in any proceedings on a reference under section 2(2) above it appears to the employment tribunal that the Secretary of State has questioned the employer to whom the reference relates and that—

(a)the employer deliberately and without reasonable excuse omitted to reply within such period as the Secretary of State may by order prescribe, or

(b)the employer’s reply is evasive or equivocal,

it may draw any inference which it considers it just and equitable to draw, including an inference that the employer has contravened a term modified or included by virtue of the equality clause of the woman, or women, as respects whom the reference is made.

(7)The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)prescribe the period within which questions must be duly served in order to be admissible under subsection (3) or (5) above, and

(b)prescribe the manner in which a question, and any reply, may be duly served.

(8)This section is without prejudice to any other enactment or rule of law regulating interlocutory and preliminary matters in proceedings before an employment tribunal, and has effect subject to any enactment or rule of law regulating the admissibility of evidence in such proceedings.

(9)Power to make orders under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(10)An order under this section may make different provision for different cases.

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