The number of cases brought to employment tribunals in 2006-07 rose by 15%, official figures from the Tribunals Service have shown.
The number of cases rose from 115,039 in 2005-06 to 132,577 last year.
There was an increase of 26% in multiple cases – where a number of people bring cases against one employer on similar grounds and they are progressed together – and a 3% rise in single cases.
Many cases involved more than one jurisdiction (complaint). Of the 238,546 jurisdictions lodged in total:
- 972 were age discrimination claims
- 44,013 were equal pay claims
- 44,491 claims were for unfair dismissal
- 28,153 were for sex discrimination (a large number of these were in conjunction with equal pay claims)
- 3,780 were for race discrimination
- 5,533 were for disability discrimination.
With the exception of race discrimination, all claims had an upward trend, with equal pay claims showing a 155% increase on 2005-06.
Jeanne Spinks, chief operating officer of the Tribunals Service, which administers employment tribunals, said: “The significant reason for the increase in employment tribunal cases in 2006-07 is a 155% increase in equal pay claims.
“We have set up two dedicated teams to process equal pay cases from NHS staff, and have been working closely with our judiciary to ensure that all equal pay claims are progressed as efficiently as possible.”
Over the past year, the Tribunals Service also piloted an early dispute resolution scheme in a number of its employment tribunals, and has worked closely with the government on plans to revise employment dispute resolution procedures.