Tesco loses appeal to withhold key information from staff in equal pay fight

Tesco loses appeal to withhold key information from shop workers in equal pay fight
Leigh Day said that in equal value claims, the first step is for the claimants to find somebody they can compare their job to.
// Employment Appeal Tribunal upholds earlier order by Employment Tribunal that Tesco has to hand over info about warehouse staff
// This includes info on the activities and work they do and how much Tesco pay them to do it
// It’s part of an equal pay court case brought forward by more than 3700 Tesco store workers

Tesco has been ordered by the court to disclose information that will assist thousands of shop workers in their equal pay case against the Big 4 grocer.

Yesterday, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld an earlier order by the Employment Tribunal made in September 2020 that ordered Tesco to hand over information about its warehouse staff.

This included information on the activities and work they do and how much Tesco pay them to do it.


READ MORE: 


The information is for an equal pay court case brought forward by more than 3700 Tesco store workers, all of whom are being represented by law firm Leigh Day.

The case is also part of the law firm’s Equal Pay Now campaign, which includes separate cases by store workers from other major retailers.

The Tesco workers in this case say that their work is of equal value to that of their colleagues working in distribution centres, most of whom are male, and so they should be paid the same.

Leigh Day said that in equal value claims, the first step is for the claimants to find somebody they can compare their job to.

Yesterday’s decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal means Tesco shop workers can now make an informed choice about which warehouse worker to compare themselves to.

The order requires Tesco to disclose information such as pay rates and job descriptions over a set period of time, with the first batch due within seven days.

Leigh Day said the difference in hourly pay for a shop worker and those in a distribution centre can range between £1.50 to £3 an hour, which could mean a disparity in pay of many thousands of pounds.

“Equal pay is a fundamental right and, had Tesco been successful in its appeal, enforcing this right would have been significantly undermined,” Leigh Day solicitor Lara Kennedy said.

“This would not just have impacted Tesco employees, but would also set a precedent for future equal pay claims.

“In September an employment judge ordered that shop workers be given access to information that is key to their equal pay claims, as is their right, and they are entitled to it without further delay.

“Today’s decision is a clear sign to Tesco that they cannot hide behind opaque pay structures in an effort to defeat equal pay claims.”

In response to the news, a Tesco spokesperson said: “The jobs in our stores and distribution centres are different.

“These roles require different skills and demands which lead to variations in pay – but this has absolutely nothing to do with gender.

“We reward our colleagues fairly for the jobs they do and work hard to ensure that the pay and benefits we offer are fair, competitive and sustainable.

“These claims are extremely complex and will take many years to reach a conclusion. We continue to strongly defend these claims.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette’s free daily email newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here