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#MeToo fuels big rise in sex discrimination cases

#MeToo fuels big rise in sex discrimination cases

Financial Times - 8 July 2019

According to an employment law firm, the exposure of sexual harassment in Hollywood and business led to a 69% increase in the number of sex discrimination claims in UK employment tribunals.

Research by GQ Littler showed that 9,340 claims were lodged in tribunals in Great Britain in 2018-19, compared with just 5,522 in the year to March 2018. The spike follows revelations by women, in what became known as the #MeToo movement, of sexual harassment by powerful men. 

The claims brough to employment tribunals cover myriad forms of sexual discrimination, including in hiring and other forms not related to harassment. The statistics do not record the form of sex discrimination alleged. 

However, Hannah Mahon, a partner at GQ Littler, attributed the spike largely to a big increase in the public airing of sexual harassment claims. 

"It's a much more public thing now," Ms Mahon said of awareness of sexual harassment. "People are starting to understand their rights and feeling less shy about speaking out."

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