Tesco hit with £4 billion equal pay claim Tesco hit with £4 billion equal pay claim

Tesco hit with £4 billion equal pay claim
12 Feb 2018

An equal pay claim launched by almost 100 Tesco employees could lead to the UK supermarket chain facing a £4 billion (US$5.53 billion) bill for back pay.

Female shopfloor staff at the retailer’s UK stores earn up to £3 (US$4) an hour less than male workers in its warehouses.

If successful, the action could lead to 200,000 of the firm’s workers receiving back pay of up to £20,000 (US$27,600) per person, according to People Management. It could also trigger an avalanche of similar pay claims across a number of British retailers and other organisations.

Law firm Leigh Day has lodged claims on behalf of Tesco employees with the conciliation service Acas, which is the first stage in the UK employment tribunal process.

According to Leigh Day, employees working in the male-dominated warehouses are paid substantially more than Tesco shops staffed largely by females, typically earning £11 (US$15) and £8 ($11) per hour respectively. This disparity could see a full-time warehouse worker on the same hours earning £100 (US$138) a week, or £5,000 (US$6,907) per year more than a female shop-based employee.

On top of the claim against Tesco, Leigh Day is representing more than 20,000 shop-floor workers in similar equal pay claims against supermarket chains Sainsbury's and ASDA. 

Paula Lee, associate solicitor at Leigh Day, said: "We believe an inherent bias has allowed store workers to be underpaid for many years. In terms of equal worth to the company, there really should be no argument that workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centres, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco, which last year had group sales of £49.9 billion (US$69 billion)."

Tesco spokesperson told People Management: “We are unable to comment on a claim we have not received. 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.”

The claims against the supermarket chain follow recent controversies over equal pay in a number of public and private sector organisations, including the BBC, which led to an investigation over equal pay at the corporation.

 

An equal pay claim launched by almost 100 Tesco employees could lead to the UK supermarket chain facing a £4 billion (US$5.53 billion) bill for back pay.

Female shopfloor staff at the retailer’s UK stores earn up to £3 (US$4) an hour less than male workers in its warehouses.

If successful, the action could lead to 200,000 of the firm’s workers receiving back pay of up to £20,000 (US$27,600) per person, according to People Management. It could also trigger an avalanche of similar pay claims across a number of British retailers and other organisations.

Law firm Leigh Day has lodged claims on behalf of Tesco employees with the conciliation service Acas, which is the first stage in the UK employment tribunal process.

According to Leigh Day, employees working in the male-dominated warehouses are paid substantially more than Tesco shops staffed largely by females, typically earning £11 (US$15) and £8 ($11) per hour respectively. This disparity could see a full-time warehouse worker on the same hours earning £100 (US$138) a week, or £5,000 (US$6,907) per year more than a female shop-based employee.

On top of the claim against Tesco, Leigh Day is representing more than 20,000 shop-floor workers in similar equal pay claims against supermarket chains Sainsbury's and ASDA. 

Paula Lee, associate solicitor at Leigh Day, said: "We believe an inherent bias has allowed store workers to be underpaid for many years. In terms of equal worth to the company, there really should be no argument that workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centres, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco, which last year had group sales of £49.9 billion (US$69 billion)."

Tesco spokesperson told People Management: “We are unable to comment on a claim we have not received. 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.”

The claims against the supermarket chain follow recent controversies over equal pay in a number of public and private sector organisations, including the BBC, which led to an investigation over equal pay at the corporation.

 

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing