Sex, race and disability claim payouts total £4m

Compensation totalling more than £4m was paid out by employers last year in compensation for sex, race and disability discrimination cases.

The figures are published in the latest edition of the Equal Opportunities Review, which examines discrimination cases brought in England and Wales.

The total number of successful cases brought to employment tribunals was 376, 37 less than in 2002. Total compensation was also less than in 2002, although that year saw record payments in sex and race discrimination cases.

For the first time this year, sex discrimination commands the highest median award – a total of £5,677, against £5,100 for race discrimination cases and £5,310 for disability discrimination. However, sex discrimination cases carry the lowest awards for injury to feeling, with a median of just £2,500 against the £4,000 claimants in race discrimination cases can expect.

New legislation due to come into force in October may help employers avoid discrimination cases if they follow new dismissal procedure guidelines.