The number of women taking employers to court claiming unfair pay is rising so quickly that it has left the system unfit for purpose, according to the head of Britain’s equality watchdog.
Jenny Watson, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, has told The Times that the flood of pay claims brought recently against local authorities is pushing the tribunal system to breaking point.
She said that the surge in cases, which more than doubled in number between 2005 and 2006, were a result of the glut of no-win, no-fee lawyers working in equal pay arena. She gave warning that while most cases involved local authorities, the private sector was just as vulnerable to legal action. Companies with opaque mechanisms for handing out bonuses and which do not have performance reviews were particularly at risk.
It is estimated that town halls could face £3 billion in compensation and back-dated pay when all claims have been processed.