Business

Tesco faces document £4bn equal pay declare

Tesco faces document £4bn equal pay declare

Leigh Day is now representing more than 20,000 shop-floor workers in equal pay claims against Sainsbury's and Asda, which both face similar claims of discrepancies in pay between the male-dominated distribution centres and the mainly female-staffed stores.

The law firm alleges that the work between warehouse and shop floor staff is comparable, and that the disparity could see a full time distribution worker on the same hours earning over £100 a week, or £5000 a year, more than female-based store staff.

United Kingdom law firm Leigh Day has launched the legal action which alleges the primarily male distribution centres were being paid more than the primarily female shop assistants.

United Kingdom supermarket giant Tesco could be facing a £4 billion claim over a pay disparity between employees at its stores and distribution centres.

Unequal pay for males and females is a hot topic now in both boardrooms as well as corridors of power across Britain.

The firm said it was working as well on claims at rivals to Tesco such as Sainsbury's and Asda, which is Walmart's British arm.

The company has been contacted by a number of female Tesco workers and believes thousands will be affected by the new claim, which is likely to go before an employment tribunal after being taken to Acas.

Leigh Day said that more than 1,000 Tesco employees had approached them. In the Asda case, which more than 15,000 workers have joined, an employment tribunal found that the lower-paid store staff can compare themselves to the distribution-centre workers.

"We believe an inherent bias has allowed store workers to be underpaid over many years", Paula Lee, a Leigh Day lawyer, told the newspaper.

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The law firm is lodging complaints with the conciliation service Acas on behalf of nearly 100 staff, paving the way for an employment tribunal process which has already led to similar, continuing claims against Asda and Sainsbury's, involving thousands of staff.

It claims the case could lead to compensation payments of £4 billion.

Prime Minister Theresa May is keen to show she is tackling problems faced particularly by younger Britons, who deprived her ruling Conservatives of a majority in a snap election a year ago by overwhelmingly backing the left-wing Labour Party.

While many people supported the equal pay challenge, others raised the question of whether people doing different jobs should earn the same amount of money.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We work hard to make sure all our colleagues are paid..."

Similar cases are being brought against Asda and Sainsbury's with about 3,000 workers complaining that the supermarkets are not offering equal pay.

"In the next stage (it) will decide whether the jobs of the store colleagues and the warehouse colleagues are of equal value".

"More than anything else, it is an exercise in kicking the problem into the long grass", said General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee.