Tesco staff to take legal action over reduced pay

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A group of long-serving Tesco employees are set to take legal action against the supermarket chain over a reduction in pay for working weekends, bank holidays and nights.

The changes in pay form part of a two-year pay deal announced in February 2016, which included a new approach to premium payments. From July 2016, all Tesco employees have received time and a half for Sunday and bank holiday shifts.

Employees negatively affected by the changes were offered a lump sum transition payment worth 18 months of the difference in their pay.

The group of 17 employees joined Tesco before July 1999. Leigh Day, the law firm representing the employees, estimates that up to 37,500 hourly-paid staff, mostly over the age of 40, are negatively affected by the changes.

Paula Lee, solicitor, employment and discrimination department at Leigh Day, said: “Tesco employs 380,000 people in the UK and the decision to impose pay cuts on long-serving employees is a bitter pill for our clients to swallow and we believe is discriminatory. It is the longer-serving staff in these retail organisations who usually suffer.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: “Earlier this year we announced a pay increase of up to 3.1% for colleagues working in our stores across the UK, in addition to a 5% turnaround bonus. As part of the pay negotiations we also agreed to simplify premium payments to ensure a fair and consistent approach for all colleagues. The minority of colleagues who were negatively impacted by this change were supported with an agreed lump sum transition payment.”