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Latest Tesco equal pay hearing could see payouts years earlier than expected

Tesco store workers could receive compensation years earlier than expected if an Employment Tribunal decides that a job evaluation study carried out by the supermarket can be relied upon.

Posted on 06 October 2020

Tesco store workers could receive compensation years earlier than expected if an Employment Tribunal decides that a job evaluation study carried out by the supermarket can be relied upon.
 
A hearing will take place from Today (Monday, 5th October) until 14th October that will decide whether the study meets the legal test.
 
Job evaluation studies assess the value of roles. The claimants, represented by law firm Leigh Day, allege this study, developed by Tesco’s own Reward Managers in 2014, found that 22 hourly-paid store roles were equivalent to higher paid distribution centre roles. 
 
They argue that, after developing the study, Tesco hid its existence from staff.
 
Store workers are bringing the claim because they say that as Tesco’s own study assess their job as equal to those in the distribution centres and they should get the same pay.
 
If successful, employees involved in the claim, and whose job sits within one of the 22 roles, are a step closer to a pay rise and compensation.
 
Currently over 3,500 store workers, represented by the law firm Leigh Day, are involved in the Equal Pay Now Campaign, claiming that their work is equal to that of their colleagues in distribution and so they should be paid the same. 
 
The difference in hourly pay for a shop floor 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.
 
Leigh Day believes the average worker could be entitled to in excess of £10,000 for up to six years back pay.

This is a highly unusual scenario where Tesco is now backpedalling and criticising its own study. We argue that the only reason shop floor workers have not been paid equally is because, despite their own study telling them otherwise, Tesco see the work done in stores, typically by women, as lesser in value than that done in distribution centres by their mostly male colleagues.”

Lara Kennedy, a solicitor in the employment team at Leigh Day, said:

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Lara Kennedy

Lara Kennedy

Lara is an employment and discrimination claims lawyer