Employee Benefits poll: More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents think that the legal action being brought against supermarket organisation Tesco over equal pay will pave the way for more equal pay claims overall.
A straw poll of www.employeebenefits.co.uk readers, which received 59 responses, also found that 8% of respondents do not believe that Tesco’s example will lead to more equal pay claims, while 15% are unsure whether or not the legal action will impact the number of equal pay claims made.
This month, approximately 1,000 current and former female store-based employees claimed that they are paid less than male staff working at the food retailer’s distribution centres.
The equal pay claims regard the disparity in earnings between female store-based employees, who earn £8 an hour on average, compared to the largely male workforce based at Tesco’s distribution centres, who can earn in excess of £11 an hour on average. This could see full-time male distribution centre staff earn £100 a week, or £5,000 a year, more than their female counterparts working in Tesco stores.
The claimants, who are being represented by law firm Leigh Day, have started legal proceedings to take their equal pay claims to the Employment Tribunal (ET). According to Leigh Day, more than 200,000 Tesco employees could be eligible to make a claim, with estimated pay shortfalls of £20,000 each.
The legal action against Tesco follows on from an equal pay case made against fellow supermarket organisation Asda, with the ET confirming in June 2016 that lower-paid female employees at Asda could compare their pay to higher-paid male employees working in the organisation’s distribution centres. Leigh Day is currently representing more than 20,000 shop-floor employees at Sainsbury’s and Asda regarding similar equal pay claims.
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