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Impact of tribunal fees on age discrimination claims

by on May 1, 2015
One of the changes to employment law brought in by the Coalition government was the introducion of Employment Tribunal fees in July 2013. Since then, those wishing to pursue a claim (not just for age discrimination but race, sex, disability etc) have to pay an issue fee when lodging it and then another fee before the claim proceeds to a full hearing. The amount depends on what type of claim is being made and although there is a fee remission system in place, not very many are granted.
As reported here in The Independent, Vince Cable has now said that this was ‘a very bad move‘. Having ordered a review, his Business Department officials found that the total number of claims at employment tribunals fell by almost 70%; down from 340,000 in the first three months of the 2013-14 financial year to just over 110,000 in the third quarter of  2014-15.
In fact the New Statesman covered this trend in September last year. Interestingly, although claims were then down year on year within every employee category, there were some differences in degree. The smallest decline was in the category of age discrimination, which fell by 37%. Claims of sex discrimination however were down by the largest amount,  91%. Analysing the size of awards in also interesting. Morton Fraser have produced a comparison table for the different categories of discrimination. The 2013/14 figures which shows that the highest average award was for age discrimination at £18,801.
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