Co-op | Workers could be owed thousands in equal pay claim

Workers could be owed thousands in equal pay claim

Equal pay has long been a debated issue in headlines, as businesses have faced greater scrutiny for their gender divide when it comes to wages.

Meanwhile, numerous female celebrities including Game of Thrones stars and BBC presenters have all previously hit out over their unequal pay, demanding that they should be paid the same.

Now hundreds of Co-op shop floor staff have launched an equal pay claim against the supermarket with some staff allegedly owed £10,000, according to The Independent.

More than 400 employees, who are made up of mostly women, stated that they are paid less than their male counterparts in the Co-op warehouses despite the fact their jobs are of equal value.

Leigh Day, the firm representing the group, believes that the difference in pay is discriminatory and claims that up to 50,000 current and former members of staff could be entitled to make a claim.

The firm stated that an average Co-op shop floor worker could be due around £10,000 if the claim is successful.

It has been found that shop floor staff are paid between £1.50 and three pounds per hour less than employees working in depots and distribution centres.

“In the stores women are more routinely employed to work on the shop floor and deal with customers. Those working in the warehouses are overwhelmingly men,” said Michael Newman, a partner in the employment team at Leigh Day.

“Despite equal pay laws being in place for almost 50 years, the group that is mostly men gets paid more. We say this cannot be lawful."

“Our clients believe that the jobs have comparable demands, and similar responsibilities. Co-op rely on both the male and female workers to make sure that they can sell as much food to their customers as possible, and the female workers have the additional responsibility of dealing with the public. This case is not about whether the jobs are identical; it is saying they are of equal value.”

Co-op isn’t the first business to come under fire over equal pay claims. Last year, HR Grapevine reported on the news that presenter Clare Balding had demanded better pay at the BBC.

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She had called for ‘complete transparency’ over the money that male presenters were paid in comparison to their female peers, adding that “nobody knows how many days Gary Lineker does for his enormous salary”.

Meanwhile, Tesco and Asda have all previously been embroiled in equal pay cases. Last year Tesco was being sued by 5,000 claimants over allegations that the company had significant equal pay issues.  

In addition, 30,000 employees contributed to claims against Asda that all concerned equal pay at the business.

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Comments (1)

  • Cinzia
    Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:59pm GMT
    The main question here is, are male workers on the shop floor earning the same or higher than females? Even if the value of the job on the shop floor is the same as in the warehouse, it's a completely different job. IF the male employees who work on the shop floor get paid more than the female, then yes I see it as discrimination. I would suggest for the people who are claiming to have a month work in the warehouses and see if it's actually the same value; I have a feeling they might realise that it's harder working in a warehouse than it is on a shop floor.

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