An individual or the Equality & Human Rights Commission (the EHRC) may bring the enforcement of non-discriminatory practices. The EHRC has the power to investigate discriminatory practices and may serve a non-discrimination notice. It can also give assistance to an individual pursuing a claim.
A complaint of discrimination must be made within three months of the act complained of. An equal pay complaint must be made within six months of the employee leaving the job that the complaint relates to. Although the tribunal has discretion to extend the time limit, an extension will only be granted if it is just and fair to do so.
If a complaint is well founded, the tribunal may:
In deciding the appropriate level of compensation, the following matters will be taken into account:
You cannot insert a term into a contract that furthers or provides for unlawful discrimination, and such a term will be unenforceable against any person.
If you who lose an equal pay claim or pay-related sex discrimination claim at a tribunal, you will have to carry out an 'equal pay audit' and publish the results on your website for 3 years, unless certain exceptions apply.
Requirements for an equal pay audit
The tribunal's order must provide a description of the employees that must be included in the audit and a time scale for completion and return to the tribunal. This must not be sooner than 3 months after the date of the judgment.
The equal pay audit must include the following:
Exceptions from performing an equal pay audit
A tribunal can't require you to perform an equal pay audit, if:
Determining compliance with the tribunal order
A tribunal will determine if the equal pay audit you have provided complies with its order. If it does it will make a further order to that effect. If doesn't or if you fail to deliver the equal pay audit by the specified date, it will set a hearing date and notify you of it.
The tribunal has the power to order you to pay a penalty of up to £5,000 for failing to comply with its orders.
If the tribunal makes a further order approving the equal pay audit, you must:
In certain circumstances, you may be able to avoid publishing the equal pay audit on your website.
For detailed information please look at the official Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service.