The Ministry of Justice has released its annual statistics report for 2010/11, covering the period 1 April 2010 - 31 March 2011. The key findings indicate a sharp rise in the number of claims brought for age discrimination. With the removal of the default retirement age of 65, it will be no surprise if the number of claims in this area continues to increase further.

Whilst the number of claims relating to the various other strands of discrimination remained fairly steady, there was a 30% increase in claims for age discrimination.

Although, the figures show that employment tribunals received a total of 218,100 claims in the period 2010/201, which is a fall of 8% compared to the previous year, this represents a 44% increase on 2008/2009.

Working Time cases were the most popular in the reporting period with a total of 114,100 which is an increase of around 20% on last year and almost 5 times as many as were made in 2008/2009. Claims relating to a failure to consult under TUPE also continue to rise.

One of the previous year's interesting features: the figures in relation to average and highest awards have not been included in the report. We will issue a further update should these figures be released separately.

The report also details the number of claims withdrawn, settled through ACAS or which proceeded to a full hearing. Of those that went to a full hearing (less than 30%), employers in 2010/2011 were more likely to win unfair dismissal, discrimination claims (including age claims) and equal pay claims but more likely than claimants to lose unlawful deductions, breach of contract and working time claims. What the statistics don’t reveal, however, is how often the parties were legally represented.

The statistics serve as a useful reminder that employers should take steps now to ensure that they raise awareness of equality and diversity issues in the workplace and address the impact of the removal of the default retirement age.

The full report can be found here: Annual Statistics 2010/2011