Further to our last article on the Tesco equal pay case, news has emerged that around 1000 Tesco employees have now lodged claims against the company, with Tesco potentially facing the UK’s largest ever equal pay claim. It is estimated that it could result in Tesco having to pay out in excess of £4 billion in back pay, with an estimate that up 250,000 employees may have been underpaid.
Background To The Tesco Equal Pay Case
The origins of the Tesco equal pay case stem from previous cases against Asda and Sainsbury’s.
In the Asda case, it was held in October 2016 that lower paid shop floor workers, who are mostly women, could compare themselves to higher paid distribution centre workers, who are predominantly men. The shop floor and distribution centre work were held to be of equal value, with workers on the shop floor earning between £1 and £3 per hour less than the distribution centre staff. This ruling was upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in August 2017. An appeal by Asda to the Court of Appeal, is due to be heard in October 2018.
The equal pay claim by shop floor workers against Sainsbury’s is being pursued on a similar basis to that of the case against Asda.
It is against this backdrop that the case against Tesco’s is being pursued. Shop floor workers are arguing that their work is of equal value to that of distribution centre employees, but whereas shop floor employees earn £8 per hour on average, distribution centre staff are earning from £8.50 – over £11 per hour. Given this, it is estimated that Tesco shop floor workers earn around £5,000.00 per annum less than distribution centre employees on average, and could be owed back pay of up to £20,000.00 in some cases.
A representative for Tesco stated: “We cannot comment on an ongoing legal matter, but we will be defending this claim about equal pay. Tesco has always been a place for people to get on in their career, regardless of their gender, background or education, and we work hard to make sure all our colleagues are paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do.”
What To Do If You Think You Have An Equal Pay Claim
Should you work or have worked for Tesco, Asda, or Sainsbury’s on the shopfloor, then please call us on 0333 301 0700, or complete the questionnaire on our homepage. Both female and male shopfloor workers can potentially bring claims.