This report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission - 100 years after women (over 30) were given the same political rights as men - makes for disappointing reading.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting, BBC executive pay, Weinstein, the Presidents Club...all have served, over recent months, to raise public awareness of issues of discrimination, harassment and gender inequality in the workplace. 

We await official figures, but I have little doubt there will follow a marked increase in discrimination, harassment, victimisation and equal pay claims. 

As one of the largest teams of employment law advisers in the North West, we have already seen a material increase in the number of inquiries from both employers and employees.

As many of you will appreciate, compensatory awards in discrimination claims are not subject to the statutory cap applicable to claims for unfair dismissal. Consequently, any compensatory award has the potential to be financially highly punitive. However, of equal, if not greater importance, is the reputational damage that an adverse discrimination finding can bring to any organisation.

Equality and Diversity must sit at the top of any HR Department's agenda. If employers do not tackle prejudice in the workplace they can expect little sympathy from an Employment Tribunal. If employers are not seen to tackle discrimination and to promote gender equality they can also expect their employees to vote with their feet and to deploy their talents elsewhere. 

If you wish to discuss issues relating to discrimination or equality in the workplace please do no hesitate to speak to a member of the Brabners Employment & Pensions team.