Tesco workers, mainly women, have successfully argued that failing to receive equal pay for work of equal value with colleagues in Tesco distribution centres, mainly men, is in breach of EU and UK law.
The European Court of Justice has recently ruled that EU law can be relied on by current and former Tesco workers making equal pay claims against their employer. This reinforced a previous Supreme Court ruling which held that Asda shop workers could compare their roles with the roles of their colleagues in distribution centres.
These rulings bring some much-needed clarity to the area of equal pay, as employers have previously been able to hide behind the grey areas of UK law. The outcome of the Tesco case means that if unequal pay can be attributed to a single source, the work and pay of those workers can be compared even if they work in different establishments.
This means that it could become much easier for equal pay claimants to compare themselves with other employees even if they work at different establishments (e.g. the shop floor and distribution centres).
The focus of these equal pay cases will now be on the key question of whether the distribution centre roles and shop floor roles are of equal value and whether there is any valid reason for the discrepancy in pay.
If you require advice on a potential equal pay claim or any other area of employment law please do not hesitate to get in contact with our employment team to discuss how we can assist you.
To arrange an appointment with a member of our specialist employment law team, or for more information, please contact our dedicated Client Relations Team on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an Enquiry' form on our website.
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*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.