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Discrimination claims at UK employment tribunals peak

Gender-based discrimination constitutes a greater proportion of claims  

23 July 2014

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The proportion of discrimination claims at UK employment tribunals is now at its highest level in four years.

This is despite the total number of claims filed in employment tribunals having fallen by around 80 per cent since fees were introduced in 2013.

According to GQ Employment Law, this is because payouts for unfair dismissal and breach of contract are currently capped, but there is no upper limit on compensation for discrimination claims.

Sex discrimination claims now make up 55 per cent of discrimination claims, up from 53 per cent in 2012/13 and 38 per cent in 2011/12.

"Over recent years there's been a big effort in the City to improve equality at a senior level, and undoubtedly there are now many more women working in senior positions," said Darren Issacs, a partner at GQ Employment Law.

"However, many female employees feel that the same efforts have not been made at a lower level, and this feeling has contributed to an increase in the number of sex discrimination claims.

"Some City women perceive that, while every effort is made to promote and support female superstars, women who are not quite part of that elite are less valued than their male peers and find it harder to progress."

The employment law firm notes that the higher proportion of gender-based discrimination claims is due to continued mistakes in handling maternity leave, such as by promoting or retaining the person who covered the jobholder on maternity leave.

Discrimination claims as a percentage of all employment tribunal claims rose from nine per cent in 2011/12 to 13 per cent in 2013/14.



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