Recent figures suggest the number of age discrimination cases has risen considerably
The number of age discrimination claims has increased substantially, according to a recent report.
In its Annual Statistics for 2010/2011, The Tribunal Service
reported a ‘dramatic’ rise in the number of age discrimination claims lodged with its service.
A total of 6,800 age discrimination claims were filed in the year to March 31 2011, an increase of 31 percent on the previous year’s numbers.
This is an increase of 79 percent since 2008/2009.
Of the 3,700 claims dismissed by Employment Tribunals in 2010/2011, just 2 percent were successful at Tribunal. Of the remaining 98 percent, 1500 were withdrawn before coming to a hearing.
Acas conciliated in 35 percent of the claims, while 9 percent were unsuccessful at a Tribunal hearing. A further 3 percent were dismissed at a preliminary hearing, and 1 percent were subject to a default judgement.
The Age and Employment Network
(TAEN) expressed concern at the increase, and warned that the number is likely to continue rising.
Chris Ball, Chief Executive of TAEN, said: "These figures show a dramatic rise in the number of age discrimination claims in the past two years and emphasise the importance of employers becoming more age-aware.
"Against a backdrop of a number of high-profile ageism cases, the ending of the default retirement age and rising levels of redundancy and unemployment, many more people believe that they are being discriminated against. These figures relate only to claims and the majority will not succeed in tribunal, but the sheer numbers suggest that they can't all be wrong.
"With further job losses expected in the public sector and the lingering idea that older workers are a burden, we would not be surprised to see these figures continue to rise.
"Employers must have appropriate policies in place to deal with issues like redundancies, recruitment and pay. In all of these areas, age should be completely out of the equation."
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
and The Tribunal Service recently launched a consultation to improve the way workplace disputes are resolved.