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.