The number of sex discrimination claims going to employment tribunals has reached the highest level in four years, according to research from an employment law firm.

GQ Employment Law said that sex discrimination claims now make up 55% of discrimination claims, up from 38% two years ago. The overall number of sex discrimination claims reached 13,722 in 2013/14.

The overall number of claims has fallen by 80% since the introduction of employment tribunal fees in July 2013, but this appears to have mostly affected lower-value claims, the firm found.

As there is no upper limit on the compensation that can be claimed for discrimination, individuals still consider it worth making these claims despite the fees disincentive, the firm suggested.

Darren Issacs, partner at GQ Employment Law, said: ‘Over recent years there’s been a big effort in the City to improve equality at a senior level, and undoubtedly there are now many more women working in senior positions within these companies.

‘However, many female employees feel that the same efforts have not been made at a lower level, and this feeling has contributed to an increase in the number of sex discrimination claims.

‘Some City women perceive that while every effort is made to promote and support female superstars, women who are not quite part of that elite are less valued than their male peers and find it harder to progress.’