The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) has expressed concern over a sharp rise in the number of age discrimination claims and warns the figure is likely to continue rising.
Figures published yesterday (30 June) by The Tribunal Service in its Annual Statistics for 2010/11 show a 'dramatic' rise in the number of age discrimination claims lodged with the service.
The figures show that, in the year up to 31 March 2011, 6,800 age discrimination claims were filed, a rise of 31% per cent on the previous year's number. Since 2008-09, the overall number of claims has risen by 79%.
During 2010/11, Employment Tribunals disposed of 3,700 claims. Of these just 2% (90 claims in total) were successful at Tribunal. Of the remaining 98 % 1500 were withdrawn before coming to a hearing,
Acas conciliated in 35% of the claims, 3% were dismissed at a preliminary hearing, 9% were unsuccessful at a Tribunal hearing and 1% was subject to a default judgement.
Chris Ball, Chief Executive of TAEN - The Age and Employment Network 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 Tribunal document containing the statistics can be found here.
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