// Next shop floor staff allege being paid on average at least £2 less p/hr than distribution centre staff
// Most of Next’s shop floor staff are women, whereas most of the distribution centre staff are men
// Next is being represented by law firm Leigh Day, and have submitted 330 claims to the Employment Tribunal
Next has become the latest retailer to be dragged into an equal pay case after shop floor staff submitted hundreds of claims to the Employment Tribunal.
Staff at Next stores across the country, most of whom are women, allege that they are paid on average at least £2 less per hour than their colleagues in distribution centres, the majority of whom are men.
They argue that their work requires as much mental and physical ability as the work carried out by distribution centre staff.
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The shop floor staff are being represented by employment law firm Leigh Day, the same firm carrying out similar equal pay claims for supermarket workers at Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and the Co-op.
Leigh Day estimates that, on average, each claimant at Next could be entitled to backpay in the region of £6000. For many, the figure could much higher.
The law firm said that more than 330 claims from have already been submitted to the Employment Tribunal, and several thousand more Next staff are likely to be eligible.
If successful, Next could face a compensation bill running into tens of millions pounds.
“The staff that work in the stores are demanding the equal pay that they deserve and that the law says they are entitled to,” said Elizabeth George, who is leading on the case for Leigh Day.
“It’s hard work and involves long hours on your feet carrying out multiple tasks, many involving manual lifting.
“In addition, these staff are also the face of the company, expected to provide the highest levels of customer service.
“I am really pleased that they now they have the weight of Leigh Dy behind them and are fighting alongside shop colleagues in the supermarkets.
“It’s a real boost to their battle.”
Retail Gazette has contacted Next for comment.