Employment tribunal claims costing UK employers £210m a year

UK employers are now spending £210m a year on employment tribunal claims, according to research from the think-tank that advises the government on discrimination in the workplace.

After age discrimination becomes illegal this October, the figure is set to rise by 70% to £360m in 2007, Committed2Equality predicts.

Around 30,000 legal actions – most claiming unfair dismissal, unequal pay or sex discrimination – are filed with the employment tribunal service each year.

Although many of these claims are eventually settled out of court, they still cost companies £7,000 on average, mainly to cover lawyers’ fees, the research shows.

Janet Lakhani, Committed2Equality chief executive, warned that companies were failing to update their procedures in line with legal changes. She cited a court of appeal judgment last year that imposes a “presumption of guilt” on employers that are sued, obliging them to provide proof that they did not discriminate.


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