Tie cases lead to soaring tribunal claims

Applications
to employment tribunals have risen by 17 per cent in the past year, according
to the annual report published by the Employment Tribunals Service.

There
was a 76 per cent increase in sex discrimination cases, from 8,128 in 2002-03
to 14,284 in 2003-04. This was largely due to 7,000 applications from Jobcentre
Plus staff complaining about having to wear ties to work.

The
TUC said the increase in applications showed that employers were still failing
to respect their employees and the law.

General
secretary Brendan Barber called for a change in the law to allow unions to
bring a single case against an employer on behalf of a large group of members.

Rita
Donaghy, chair of Acas, said the number of applications to tribunals was lower
than four years ago. “[This] is a tribute to the effectiveness of our message
that prevention is better than cure,” she said.

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