Race and equal pay claims rise

 The number of employment tribunal claims fell to 86,816 in 2004-05 from 104,952 in 2003-04, according to the annual report from the arbitration, conciliation and advisory service, Acas.

The most common claims were found to be unfair dismissal and breaches of the Wages Act .

But there was a significant increase in the number of race discrimination claims, from 788 to 2,489.

There was also a substantial rise in the number of equal pay claims, up from 979 in 2003-04 to 6,607 in 2004-05.

Claims under breaches of contract, redundancy pay, sex discrimination and working time all decreased from the previous year.

In addition to its involvement in these cases, Acas received 1,123 requests for collective conciliation (1,244 in 2003-04), 58 for trade dispute arbitration (69 in 2003-04) and 35 for mediation (one in 2003-04).

The Acas national helpline answered 880,787 calls compared with 796,649 in 2003-04.

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