Equal Opportunities/Pay

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 7th September 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Shaun Woodward Shaun Woodward Labour, St Helens South

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate the Government has made of the cost to businesses of pay discrimination lawsuits in each year since 1997.

Photo of Jacqui Smith Jacqui Smith Minister of State (Industry and the Regions and Deputy Minister for Women), Department of Trade and Industry

The DTI has not made an estimate of the cost to business of equal pay claims to employment tribunal, which comprise about 3 per cent. of all Tribunal cases.

The Department and the Employment Tribunal Service carried out a sample survey of employment tribunal claims—the Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications 2003. But there were not enough equal pay claims in the sample to allow a reliable estimate of the costs to business of equal pay claims in the period, or to extrapolate to other years.

The survey of employment tribunal applications contains a sample of all discrimination cases in 2002–03—race, sex, disability and equal pay claims—which would be large enough to allow an estimate of the average cost to business of such discrimination claims. This average mean cost has been calculated as £5.813. However, this estimate would not be representative of the cost to business of equal pay claims, since equal pay claims tend to be of longer duration than the average discrimination claim. Nor, on the other hand, would it include the lower costs of the many cases that are settled, for example there were 578 ACAS conciliated settlements of equal pay cases in 2003–04.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.