Morrisons faces billion-pound claim over equal pay

Morrisons faces billion-pound claim over equal pay

Eight Morrisons employees are challenging their employer in an equal pay row which could cost the retailer an estimated £1billion if the case is successful, the Guardian reports.

The law firm Leigh Day said it was seeking compensation for shop workers – predominately women – who believe they are paid less than most workers in Morrison’s warehouses.

Leigh Day said it would lodge a claim with the employment tribunal service next week on behalf of the outraged Morrisons workers, adding that around 80,000 employees could be eligible to claim back pay totalling to billions of pounds.

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Warehouse workers are paid between a pound and four pounds more per hour than their colleagues working on the shop floor, the law firm has revealed.

Emma Satyamurti, a partner in law firm Leigh Day’s employment team, tells the Telegraph:

“We believe that Morrisons, as with the other major supermarkets, has underpaid those working in its stores for a number of years.

“Our clients believe that those working on the shop floor should be paid the same as those in the distribution centres, and a failure to commit to this is not only unfair but unlawful.”

Furthermore, Leigh Day is cracking down on all of the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets and has already begun legal action on behalf of the 30,000 staff working in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores.

They say that claims have already been logged with the conciliation service Acas, and Leigh Day has written to the retailer’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Potts, requesting pay and gender information for workers.

However, a spokesperson for Morrisons has fought back against the pay gap allegations outlined in the case. They say that they were “not aware of any court proceedings issued by a third party”.

“We have received a letter asking us a number of questions about our pay policies. Our aim is to pay our colleagues fairly and equally for the job that they do, irrespective of their gender,” the statement adds.

The publication of gender pay gap data was introduced by the government in a bid to eliminate unequal pay.

What is the gender pay gap?

By April 2018, UK companies with 250 or more employees were obliged to publish their gender pay gap data and publish it on the government’s website.

The gender pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women.

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Across the UK, it was revealed that men earned 18.4% more than women in April 2017 according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data - it is still an ongoing issue.

Equal pay rows sparked furore at the BBC earlier this year when BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quit in protest over gender pay gap.

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