Compensation payments resulting from tribunals to settle claims of discrimination cost employers £4.2 million last year. The average payout was in the region of £15,600 for disability discrimination. And things are going to get tougher for employers as new legislation comes into force next month.
A new report from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has revealed that overall, payments fell in 2003, with the number of sex, race and disability discrimination payments falling to 376, compared with 413 in 2002. However, the cost to business is still significant and for a small business owner the cost of losing just one dispute could mean ruination.
Each year more than 1,000 women take action for being dismissed because they were pregnant. Many of them are successful even although they may have been dismissed for genuine reasons. The problem for employers is that if correct procedures are not put in place to ensure fairness then disgruntled employees have power on their side and in some case will abuse it.
The Business Forum is launching a project aimed at helping small businesses in the tourism sector get to grips with employment legislation (see previous article in Knowledge Base under Work Force Development). If you would like to know more about this or to sign up for the project contact Soozie Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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