Pay issue | Tesco, Sainsbury's & Co-op in £8bn equal pay case

Tesco, Sainsbury's & Co-op in £8bn equal pay case

Tesco, one of the largest retailers in the UK and an employer of over 500,000 employees worldwide, is currently being sued by 5,000 claimants over allegations that the shop has a significant equal pay issue.

The battle to claim equal pay for men and women under the employment of Tesco is one of five separate cases currently being brought to chains including Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Co-op by some 40,000 current and former store workers over the same issue.

According to analysis by the Financial Times, it has been estimated that the total compensation of such cases could now exceed £8billion – and shed a light on the issue that could inspire others in different sectors to open similar cases.

The current claims identify a significant divide between the wages of store workers – the majority of whom are women, and the pay of staff in the distribution depots, who are mostly men. Plaintiffs are citing the Equality Act of 2010, which states that men and women are entitled to equal pay for doing work of equal value. 

“It’s not about financial reasons but because of the unfairness of the situation,” Ms Lodwick, who worked at Tesco for 17 years in various in-store roles until she was made redundant last January, told the Financial Times. “I was really disappointed when I heard the differences in pay. It’s like you are not valued.”

In the case of Asda, in which more than 30,000 employees contributed to the claim, the claims will be divided into three individual cases including one in which factors such as geographical location will be examined to ascertain if such factors have made a difference. The retailer has already lost a Court of Appeal judgement over the issue, whilst the cases are currently set to run until at least 2021.

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