The number of employment tribunals pursued in the UK rose by eight per cent last year, new figures have revealed.
According to statistics from the Tribunal Service annual report, there were 137,000 cases last year compared with just 127,000 during 2005-06.
Of those 44,013 involved equal pay - an increase of 155 per cent - while cases relating to sex discrimination were up from 14,250 to 28,153.
The growth in claims has been attributed to a number of factors including the introduction of new regulations governing statutory dispute resolution, which were enacted in 2004.
Meanwhile, EEF, a trade body which represents engineering and manufacturing employers, told Workplace Law that the increase is due to "parties becoming more familiar with the rules".
Jeanne Spinks, chief operating officer at the Tribunals Service, said that the upward trend is unlikely to be arrested next year, prompting the organisation to undertake organisational restructuring to cope with increased claim numbers.
She told the Guardian: "We have set up two dedicated teams to process equal pay cases from NHS staff and have been working closely with our judiciary to ensure all equal pay claims are progressed as efficiently as possible."