Payouts for bias by employersup by 10%

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The Independent Online

Compensation awarded against employers accused of discrimination rose by more than 10 per cent last year, with payouts in disability cases increasing sharply, new figures released today show.

Compensation awarded against employers accused of discrimination rose by more than 10 per cent last year, with payouts in disability cases increasing sharply, new figures released today show.

According to the survey, published by the Equal Opportunities Review, the total payout in the 329 successful unlawful discrimination claims was £3.88m, up from £3.53m in 2000.

Among the biggest was the £190,663 given to a woman by a clothes manufacturer for sex discrimination after she was made redundant because she was pregnant. And a Jamaican man who was passed over for promotion and then unfairly dismissed won £63,000 for race discrimination from Midlands-based telecoms company Dataphone (UK) Ltd.

The massive 85 per cent rise in compensation for disability discrimination came as a result of new legislation. In all there were 188 successful claims for sex discrimination, 85 for race discrimination and 56 for disability discrimination.

The total figure will soar even higher in 2002, after the record £1,412,823 award against Schroder Securities for sex discrimination against one of its analysts. Julia Bower won her claim in January because she was paid "insultingly low" bonuses compared to male colleagues of equal standing.

Kate Godwin, editor of Equal Opportunities Review, said: "Failure to address discrimination in the workplace could ultimately cost organisations and individuals far more than they ever imagined."