The number of cases of age discrimination being brought before employment tribunals is steadily increasing alongside the national rate of unemployment, it has been found.

Figures obtained from the Tribunal Service under the Freedom of Information Act by Eversheds reveal that age discrimination cases are set to be up by around 27 per cent over the 12 months to the end of March 2009.

Notably, the cases being brought before the service don’t all involve those of pensionable age, with the recent example of the air traffic control service NATS refusing to take on trainees over the age of 35 highlighting the extent of the problem in the modern working world.

Chris Ball, the chief executive of the Age and Employment Network, argued: "Too much of the discussion about age discrimination and the age regulations has focused on the issue of enforced retirement at age 65.

"Age discrimination can occur at any time throughout an individual’s working life and it frequently does at the recruitment stage."

However, the research also found that the number of age discrimination cases being pursued in the UK still remains marginal when compared to cases of unfair dismissal or sex discrimination.