How to request a review of a use of an enforcement power

Introduction

When deciding to take regulatory steps or action the Commission makes every effort to comply with its Compliance and Enforcement policy and with the Regulators’ Code.

If your organisation is directly affected by one of our decisions relating to the use of our enforcement powers, and you think that we have got it wrong, you may ask us to carry out a review.

Scope

This policy applies to a decision by the Commission to use the following statutory powers against your organisation or to require you to provide information or take steps in order to avoid being subject to one of these powers:

  • To conduct a formal inquiry (Section 16 Equality Act 2006)
  • To conduct a formal investigation (Section 20 Equality Act 2006)
  • To issue an unlawful act notice (Section 21 Equality Act 2006)
  • To enter into an agreement not to commit an unlawful act (Section 23 Equality Act 2006)
  • Legal proceedings to prevent or restrain an unlawful act (Sections 24 and 25 Equality Act 2006)
  • To bring a claim for judicial review (Section 30 Equality Act 2006)
  • To conduct a formal assessment of compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty (Section 31 Equality Act 2006)
  • To issue a compliance notice (Section 32 Equality Act 2006).

Grounds for review

A decision by the Commission to take regulatory steps or action will only be eligible for a review if:

a) there is new and significant evidence or information (including legal developments) that is material to the matter and which has come to light since the Commission’s decision was made. This evidence must not have been obtainable with reasonable diligence when the original case was submitted. It must be relevant and would likely have had an important influence on the EHRC’s decision to grant legal assistance. It must also be apparently credible.

AND/OR
b) You are able to provide reasons why you consider that the decision fails to satisfy one or more of the principles underlying the Commission’s regulatory role: proportionality, accountability/transparency, and consistency.

Process

  • You must put the request for a review in writing, giving full reasons and providing any new evidence or information that the Commission is being asked to consider.
  • The request for a review must normally be received within one calendar month of the decision to which it relates.
  • The Commission will acknowledge receipt of the request for a review within five working days.
  • A senior lawyer in the Commission’s legal team, not previously involved in the matter, will assess whether one or both of the review criteria are met
  • Before making this assessment, the senior lawyer may first write to you asking for more information to support the review request, or for clarification of new evidence or information already provided.
  • The senior lawyer will respond within 20 working days of receiving the review request or within 10 days of receiving any additional information from you, whichever is later.
  • If the senior lawyer considers that the conditions for a review have not been met, he or she will inform you of this and the decision will be final.
  • If the senior lawyer decides that the conditions for a review have been met, he or she will draft a report and recommendation for the Chief Legal Officer and inform you that this has happened, giving you an indicative date for a final response.
  • Within five working days of the Chief Legal Officer’s decision, the senior lawyer will write to inform you of the outcome of the review.

Equal opportunities

The Commission is committed to equal opportunities and our aim is to make this review policy easy to use.  We will take steps to accommodate any reasonable adjustments you may have to enable you to access the review process, such as providing correspondence in alternative formats and/or providing such other assistance that you might reasonably require.

Last updated: 12 Oct 2016