The Employment Tribunal and EAT statistics for the year to 31 March 2007, which have recently been published, show a 15% increase on the number of tribunal claims on the previous year.

The statistics show the following:

  • Unfair dismissal is the most frequent claim, followed by claims for unauthorised deductions from wages, breach of contract, sex discrimination and claims under the Working Time Directive.
  • There were 972 age discrimination claims in the six months since the age discrimination regulations came into force.
  • The average tribunal award in claims were as follows:

- unfair dismissal - £7,974;

- race discrimination - £14,049;

- sex discrimination - £10,052; and

- disability discrimination - £15,059;

  • Respondents were twice as likely as claimants to be awarded costs. The average costs awarded were £2,079.

The rise in tribunal claims can be attributed to a large extent to the increase in equal pay claims against local authorities. The Equal Opportunities Commission has warned that the tribunal system is facing an unprecedented rise in claims, as more women are willing to challenge their pay.