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Tesco shop floor workers to appeal latest equal pay decision

Law firm Leigh Day is reviewing a decision made yesterday (Wednesday, 14th October) by the Employment Tribunal that a job evaluation study carried out by Tesco is unreliable.

Posted on 15 October 2020

Law firm Leigh Day is reviewing a decision made yesterday (Wednesday, 14th October) by the Employment Tribunal that a job evaluation study carried out by Tesco is unreliable.

The ruling was significant because, had it gone differently, thousands of store workers would have been entitled to base their claims on a study that assessed their job as equal to those in the distribution centres.

The firm is reviewing the decision with a view to lodging an appeal with the Employment Appeal Tribunal on behalf of its clients before Christmas.

Job evaluation studies assess the value of roles. This study, developed by Tesco’s own Reward Managers in 2014, found that 22 hourly-paid store roles were equivalent to three higher paid distribution centre roles.

After producing the study, Tesco abandoned the project and decided against implemented its own findings.

Leigh Day says the on-going equal value claims brought by shop staff against Tesco will continue and are strengthened by the study carried out by Tesco’s Reward Team.

Currently Leigh Day represents more than 3,500 store workers, who claim 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 from between £1.50 to £3 an hour, which could mean a disparity in pay of many thousands of pounds.

Leigh Day believes that the average worker could be entitled to in excess of £10,000 for up to six years back pay.

The firm also represents clients from Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, the Co-op and Next in similar equal pay cases.

Helena Rhodes, a Leigh Day client who worked for Tesco for six years, said:

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t get the result we were hoping for, but this isn’t the end.

“I worked hard for Tesco and all I want is fair pay for the work I did.

“I’m hopeful that Tesco will recognise that it’s store staff deserve equal pay and bring an end to this dispute.”

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

“This is not the end of the road for this argument, we still believe fairness can win.

“The Employment Tribunal had to consider complex case law which has developed over the last 50 years and has, unfortunately, made it more difficult for women to rely on job evaluation studies created by their employers to bring these types of equal pay claims.

“We were right to bring this aspect of the claim to the Employment Tribunal. It cannot be legally right that Tesco is allowed to “mark its own homework”.

“It is our belief 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.”

For more information or to join the claim visit www.equalpaynow.co.uk/tesco-equal-pay

Lara Kennedy
Employment Group claims

Lara Kennedy

Lara is a partner in the employment and discrimination claims team

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