Asda faces £100m equal pay battle with shopfloor staff

Tribunal rules that thousands of women who work in retailer's stores can lodge claim over alleged gender pay gap
Mon 17th Oct 2016

The Guardian. Friday 14th October 2016.

Thousands of women who work in Asda stores have won the right to lodge the UK’s largest private sector equal pay claim.

An employment tribunal ruled that the women, who work in roles across the shopfloor, can compare their jobs with those done for a higher wage in Asda’s warehouses, predominantly by men.

If the women win, the retailer could be forced to adjust the pay of many of its 130,000 shopfloor staff, and make back payments to those involved in the case going back to 2002, at an estimated cost of up to £100m...

Chris Cook, the head of the employment department at legal firm SA Law, said the decision was a major milestone but only the first step in a long process. “This isn’t an isolated case by any means,” he said. “We’ll no doubt see major retailers up and down the country facing similar claims around the disparity between the wages of their distribution staff and employees working away on the shopfloor. Even more crucially, employees in any number of sectors will be taking a closer look at their pay packets and how they compare to their colleagues across a business.”

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