// The grocer is facing an equal pay claim from over 400 colleagues
// It responded that it was “confident that reward practices are fair”
// Workers are asking for up to 6 years of back pay
The Co-op is facing an equal pay claim from over 400 of its employees, after many women said they were being underpaid compared with male warehouse workers.
The retailer responded that it was “confident that reward practices are fair”.
A hearing for the claim took place last week at Manchester Employment Tribunal, which saw law firm Leigh Day representing the workers who are asking for up to six years of back pay.
Leigh Day’s head of employment, Chris Benson, said the claims were brought on after shop floor employees found they were being paid less than the men in the warehouses.
They felt that they were getting “underpaid for the same effort”, and that their work was of equal value.
The difference in pay between shop floor and distribution staff ranges from £1.50 to £3 an hour.
The average worker could be entitled to up to £10,000 in back pay, according to the law firm.
Benson added that around 40,000 people may be eligible to bring claims.
Meanwhile, the Co-op defended itself by responding that it has a “small number” of equal pay claims compared with other grocers.
“It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on individual claims, but we will be defending these claims and are confident that our reward practices are fair,” Co-op said in a statement.