The Equality Act has been updated to reflect a change in the burden of proof in discrimination claims which was originally solely upon the Claimant. This has been confirmed in practice in the recent case of Efobi v Royal Mail Group.
Previously, the Claimant had to prove its case to the Employment Tribunal in order for the Tribunal to establish that the issue complained of had occurred. Now however, there simply needs to be ‘facts’ and inferences may be drawn from a lack of information put forward by Respondents. This means that Respondents to Employment Tribunal cases cannot sit back and wait for the Claimant to prove the allegations. If they do, they run the risk that the Employment Tribunal will infer, from the Respondent’s silence, that those ‘facts’ put forward by the Claimant are true.
Respondents to an Employment Tribunal claim should make sure that they demonstrate all relevant information to the Employment Tribunal, in order to avoid the Tribunal from drawing conclusions from the lack of evidence and finding against them.