Equal pay claims now account for a third of all employment tribunal cases.
Data released today by the Tribunals Service shows that more than 60,000 equal pay cases were accepted between April 2007 and March 2008 – more than three times the number of equal pay cases received in 2005-06 (17,268) and more than ten times the number of cases received in 2003-04 (4,412).
Figures from conciliation service Acas’s 2008 annual report, published last year, showed that the number of equal pay claims it dealt with in 2007-08 had more than doubled to reach 58,513 – up from 27,497 the previous year – and overtook unfair dismissal cases for the first time (43,231 cases).
Today’s Tribunals Service figures also show an dramatic increase in the overall number of employment tribunal claims – up by more than 40% year-on-year, from 132,600 in 2006-07 to 189,300 in 2007-08. This was due, in part, to an increase in claims relating to the Working Time Directive, which rose by 34,573 to reach 55,700.
There was a slight decrease in the number of sex discrimination cases from the previous year (26,907 down from 28,153), although this was still an increase of almost 10,000 cases compared with five years ago (17,722 in 2003-04).