A total of £4 million was spent by employers in 2006 to settle 313 unlawful discrimination claims, according to recent statistics.
According to figures from the Equal Opportunities Review, the amount paid out was boosted by an 'uplift' in the level of compensation after employers were found to have failed to comply with regulations.
This was shown to be the case in a quarter of the cases put before tribunals.
The measures were introduced in 2004 to imbue tribunals with the power to lift levels of compensation by up to 50 per cent when employers have not implemented required statutory procedures.
Sue Johnstone, editor of Equal Opportunities Review, said: "The uplift in compensation has emphasised the extent to which many employers fail to follow any kind of fair procedure when dealing with their employees.
"What the cases in our survey demonstrate is that some employers are blatantly disregarding the need for fair treatment, and under the current legislation they are paying the price."