Asda equal pay claim rumbles on

We previously reported on the equal pay claim of a large number of employees, mostly women, who work for the supermarket, Asda.

Their claim has progressed as the Court of Appeal has recently held that staff who work in the stores are entitled to compare their wages with warehouse employees. The decision, if upheld, could cost the big supermarkets millions in back pay.

The focus of the case was on shop workers (mostly women) who brought a pay discrimination claim. They stated that they should be permitted to compare their job with that of, mostly male, warehouse workers. Female shop workers tend to be paid less than the men in the distribution centres.  Asda continues to argue that the pay rates in its shops are different than those in the distribution centres because the demands of the jobs are 'very different' and thus, jobs in different parts of the business should not be compared.

The story will not end here as it is likely to go to the Supreme Court – so the decision is not yet final.

Any employer, large or small, should review its pay scales and job descriptions in any event to try to avoid the possibility of such claims, especially if Asda lose eventually.

To discuss this or any other employment related matter, contact us.