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Lawyer for Tesco workers says Supermarket's CEO pay is 'troubling'

Paula Lee from the Employment team at Leigh Day is representing hundreds of workers whose pay has been effectively cut as fresh concerns are raised over the amount Tesco's CEO is paid

Tesco

7 June 2017

A lawyer representing 316 Tesco employees has said that the remuneration package of the retailer's Chief Executive is “troubling” after it was revealed that the Supermarket giant paid him £142,000 in relocation costs from London to Welwyn Garden City.

According to the Times newspaper, Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) have produced a report advising shareholders to oppose a 179 per cent increase in benefits for Tesco Chief Executive Dave Lewis, which it says is “not considered appropriate”.

Paula Lee from the Employment and Discrimination Department at Leigh Day, is acting for the Tesco employees, who joined Tesco before 5 July 1999, in legal claims against Tesco at the Employment Tribunal over a decision which has seen wages reduced for working at weekends, bank holidays and nights, benefits which the long-serving staff had previously been entitled to.

According to the Times, the report presented by PIRC, ahead of at Tesco’s annual meeting next week, a large part of the remuneration package for Mr Lewis was attributed to his relocation costs to cover stamp duty and legal fees when he moved from London to be close to Tesco’s Hertfordshire head office.

The corporate governance advisory body has also taken issue with the ratio of the chief executive’s pay to the average Tesco employee which it estimated as an “unacceptable” 294 to 1.

Paula Lee said: “It is troubling that an estimated ratio as high as 294 to 1, between the pay of an average employee and its chief executive, can exist in a business where staff are seeing their take home pay go down.

“Our clients obviously feel that it is unjust that their pay is essentially cut whilst executive pay seems to know no bounds.”

According to the Times a spokesman for Tesco declined to comment specifically on the Pirc report, instead referring to Tesco’s annual report which states that a “significant proportion” of executive pay should be performance-related.

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