The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, about to resume its progress through Parliament, will remove two Equality Act provisions on which the Government consulted earlier this year: the third party harassment rules and the statutory discrimination questionnaire procedure.

Although in theory the removal of the potential employer liability for harassment of employees by third parties (such as customers or visitors) ought to reduce the risk of claims, in practice, given that other avenues are available to employees where workplace harassment occurs, the change is unlikely to impact substantially on employers' duties in this area.

Likewise, the removal of discrimination questionnaires will not necessarily help employers.  Employees will be free to ask questions of their employer in any other format and employers will still have to be careful in responding, as tribunals would still be able to take any exchanges (or any failure to respond) into account