Just a month after losing its data protection appeal at the Court of Appeal, Morrisons are now facing a mass equal pay claim, with the first batch of equal pay claims being lodged in the employment tribunal on the 13th November 2018. The Morrisons equal pay claim is the latest in a series of mass equal claims against supermarkets, with claims also being brought against Asda, Tesco, and Sainsburys.
Morrisons Equal Pay Claim
The Morrisons equal pay claim, like the other mass equal pay claims against the other large supermarkets, is being brought on the basis that it is alleged that shop floor workers, who are mostly women, are being paid less than distribution centre workers, who are predominantly men, for work which is alleged to be of equal value, and in circumstances where it is contended that there is no material factor defence (i.e that there is no genuine non-sex discriminatory reason that justifies the difference in pay).
The average potential value of each equal pay claim against Morrisons is thought to be in the region of £20,000.00, and it is estimated that there may be as many as 80,000 potential Claimant’s. That means that if the claims were to be successful, then Morrisons could be faced with having to pay back pay of up to £1.6 billion.
Gender Pay Gap
According to the gender pay gap reporting data provided by Morrisons earlier this year, the mean hourly pay rate for female staff was 14.3% lower than that of male staff.
Response From Morrisons
In relation to the issuing of proceedings in the Morrisons equal pay claim, a representative for the company stated: “We believe we pay our colleagues fairly and equally for the job that they do, irrespective of their gender, and we will be defending this claim.“
Morrisons Data Protection Appeal
Back on the 22nd October 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that Morrisons were vicariously liable for a data leak by a former employee, in which the personal details relating to almost 100,000 members of staff were sent to newspapers. Morrisons are now appealing that ruling to the Supreme Court.