Tesco Facing Equal Pay Claim

Friday 16th February 2018

Following the commencement of equal pay claims against Sainsbury’s and Asda, Tesco now finds itself on the receiving end of an equal pay claim which could potentially cost the retail giant up to £4 billion in compensation.

The claim against Tesco centres on mainly female shop workers earning as much as £3 less per hour than male warehouse workers, and will hinge on whether the work undertaken by shop workers and warehouse workers is of ‘equal value’ in terms of effort, skill and decision-making.  Up to 200,000 staff could be affected by the claim.

Comment     The right to equal pay is implied into all employment contracts, meaning that any breach of equal pay provisions is a contractual breach which can give rise to a claim in the ET, or in the civil courts for a longer period of up to 6 years after the breach occurred.  Employers who fail to ensure equal pay for their male and female staff could be liable for backdated pay dating back 6 years.  Employers should also note that, unlike in Employment Tribunals, the losing party in the civil courts is usually liable for a proportion of the winning party’s legal costs.