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The cost of discrimination

At the start of last year there were around 4.8 million businesses in the UK employing almost 24 million people between them.
The vast majority of these being small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with less than 250 employees and many unable to afford the kind of financial loss a tribunal claim could involve.
Whilst the number of claims last year had reduced from the previous year, there were still in excess of 180,000 cases.   
Sarah Naylor, associate solicitor and the firms employment law specialist, said: “While not all claims are successful, the risk of a claim is not something that employers should take lightly.
“Getting the right legal advice at an early stage in a dispute is important, as even if the claim is doomed to fail, the employer would still incur the cost of defending it.
“Many claims can be avoided simply by ensuring that good employment policies are in place from the outset.”
Employment tribunal claims that tend to attract the highest award value are those involving discrimination, including race, sex, gender, age or disability, where in excess of £1m has been awarded in extreme cases.
The most common tribunal claims are for unfair dismissal where more than 46,000 claims were brought last year. This type of claim has seen awards in excess of £80,000.
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