Understanding Workplace Cases of Disability Discrimination: Employers

What is the research about?

Acas has asked NatCen Social Research to carry out this study to better understand workplace disability discrimination cases (DD), and why there has been a recent rise in the number of DD cases proceeding to Employment Tribunal claims and hearings. The research seeks to understand:

  • the circumstances surrounding such cases;
  • employers’ experiences of handling such cases; and,
  • why some disability discrimination cases are not being resolved either at the initial conciliation stage or at all.

By taking part, you will help Acas gain information that will assist in creating advisory content to prevent disability discrimination cases arising or to resolve them before they escalate. As part of this project, we will also be speaking to employees who have submitted a DD claim. However, we will not discuss the same case with employers and employees.

Who can take part?

We are interested in speaking to employers that have been party to a disability discrimination (DD) claim. We would like to speak to a HR representative or someone with knowledge of how the claim was handled in order to understand the employer’s perspective of the circumstances surrounding the claim and the Acas conciliation process. 

As part of the project, we will be speaking to employers who tried to settle the claim at Acas conciliation as well as those where the claim went to an Employment Tribunal hearing. 

If you decide to take part, we will not tell Acas, or anyone else, that you have taken part or what you specifically have said.

What will taking part involve?

If you decide to take part, you can do so online or by telephone in an interview lasting between 45 minutes and one hour. 

  • The interview will take place in February/March 2024 and will be conducted via MS Teams or by telephone by a NatCen researcher.
  • You will be asked about:
    • the circumstances surrounding the disability discrimination claim; 
    • how you responded to it; 
    • the process by which it was handled, including the outcome of the case; 
    • your experience with Acas conciliation; 
    • and if relevant your experience of the Employment Tribunal.
  • There are no right or wrong answers, we just want to hear about your views and experiences. You may want to re-familiarise yourself with the claim by reviewing any relevant documentation. 
  • NatCen will offer you a £70 Love2Shop voucher, or equivalent donation to one of a choice of charities, as a thank you for taking part in the interview.

Do I have to take part?

You do not have to take part and you can change your mind at any time. If you do agree to take part in an interview, you can choose not to answer questions or talk about any experiences that you do not want to discuss. You can also withdraw from the interview without giving us a reason. 

If you change your mind and no longer want to take part in this research, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing AcasDDstudy@natcen.ac.uk or calling 0808 168 2153 for free.

What will happen to the information I give?

Everything you say will remain anonymous in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). This means we will not tell anyone that you have taken part in the study or what you specifically have said. 

With your permission, we will audio-record the interview. The recording will be kept securely and destroyed 6 months after the research is complete.  

We will use the information from the interviews to write a report for Acas. It will not be possible to identify any individuals or organisations in the report. 

Contact the research team 

If you have any questions about NatCen or about this study or would like this information in a different format, please contact the research team on: AcasDDstudy@natcen.ac.uk or call us for free on 0808 168 2153. You can also use these contact details to advise us of any accessibility requirements to enable you to take part.

You can read more about this research, including how your data will be used here: natcen.ac.uk/acasDDstudy. This page also includes details of organisations who can provide support if anything around this research has raised upsetting feelings.

If you would like this information sheet in large print or an audio format, please contact us on 0808 168 2153 or email AcasDDstudy@natcen.ac.uk.