by the Ministry of Justice showed that there were a total of 4,200 single claims received in this quarter, down 3 per cent on April to June 2015. However, equal pay claims bucked the trend, being up on the same quarter in 2015 at 3,367, a rise of 72 per cent. However, some of this rise may be attributable to group actions for equal pay against two major supermarkets, Asda and Sainsbury’s.
The duration of a tribunal case, that is, how long it takes from being lodged to its eventual conclusion, increased for multiple claims, many of which will be equal pay claims, but went down slightly for single claims. For single claims relating to discrimination jurisdictions, the mean age of a case ranged from 34 weeks for sex discrimination claims to 91 weeks for equal pay claims. The mean duration of a multiple equal pay claim was 320 weeks (well over 5 years), but with some cases already having lasted 440 weeks. The length of time taken to dispose of equal pay claims may be contributing to the 15 per cent increase in outstanding cases in Employment tribunals.
As an aside, EqualPayPortal notes with interest that the Equality and Human Rights Commission does not appear on the Pre-Release Access list for these quarterly statistics, meaning that any press release the Commission might choose to issue in response to increases or decreases in claims filed within its areas of interest is likely to be overlooked as being ‘yesterday’s news.’