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25 July 2008

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Age Discrimination Claims not as common as feared

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Latest detailed statistics from the Employment Tribunal Service released this month showed that the number of claims has increased by 15 per cent, with age discrimination claims making up less than half a per cent of all accepted claims, says Peterborough law firm Hegarty LLP.

The statistics relate to the period April 2006 to March 2007 and show that the number of cases brought before the tribunal has increased from 115,039 in 2005/6 to 132,577 in 2006/7.

Martin Bloom

Employment Partner Martin Bloom explained, “I think the 15 per cent increase should be regarded with some caution. The increase is thought to be largely attributed is to a large number of local authority equal pay claims.”

“However, it still illustrates that many people are still deciding to bring a claim against their employers. Organisations need to protect themselves by having in place written contacts and being fully up to date with the latest employment legislation.”

According to the statistics unfair dismissal is the most common reason for bringing a claim with the average compensation awarded by a tribunal in an unfair dismissal case being £7,974.

Age discrimination was one the major changes to employment law when it came into effect in October 2006. The report shows that there have been 972 age discrimination claims presented in that period.

Mr Bloom commented, “Complying with the age discrimination legislation meant a great deal of work for those involved in HR. I suspect that many HR professionals were concerned that there might be avalanche of age discrimination claims, but it remains to be seen if that is the case.”

“It should be remembered that as age discrimination came into force in October 2006, and the statistics are from April 06 to March 07, it only includes six months worth of age discrimination claims. I’m sure the number of age discrimination cases will be higher in next year’s statistics.”

The full report can be downloaded from the Employment Tribunal Service website at www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk

September 2007 - Peterborough UK Community Website




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