New figures suggest that age discrimination claims could leave UK employers facing a collective compensation bill of £12 million, since the introduction of new legislation last year.
According to statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) some 600 separate claims have been registered since the introduction of new age discrimination laws in October 2006.
Meanwhile a recent survey from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) reveals that one in ten firms have already received age discrimination claims.
Overall, the DTI predicts more than 5,200 age claims to be made in the 2007/ 08 financial year which could ultimately leave a total compensation bill of up to £12 million. BLP partner Rebecca Harding-Hill highlighted the threat this poses to employers.
"If employers are not on top of the age legislation and all of its ramifications, age claims could result in a significant financial cost for UK businesses," she stated.
Employment Tribunal figures suggest that average compensation award made for disability discrimination claims is in the region of £20,000, suggesting heavy bills for firms who fall foul of discrimination law.