Tesco equal pay claim could set supermarket giant back £4bn

Tesco equal pay claim could set supermarket giant back £4bn

Tesco equal pay claim could set supermarket giant back £4bn

As many as 20,000 Tesco shopfloor staff could be affected by the claim, which it is estimated could cost the company up to £4bn based on each worker receiving up to £20,000 in back pay over a period of at least six years.

The legal action has been launched by the solicitors Leigh Day on behalf of almost 100 Tesco shop assistants.

Lawyers say the hourly wage of its female store staff proved less than their male counterparts, despite engaging in similar work.

The company also believes the case could lead to Tesco facing a bill of up to £4 billion in compensation - and hopes it will result in store staff being paid more fairly in the future.

"In terms of equal worth to the company there really should be no argument that workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centres, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco which previous year had group sales of £49.9 billion".

Leigh Day believes more workers will join the Tesco case as it progresses.

"In terms of equal worth to the company there really should be no argument that workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centres, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco, which previous year had group sales of £49.9bn", she said.

The firm has already started submitting claims on behalf of their clients through ACAS, the first stage in the Employment Tribunal process which could potentially last several years.

Sainsbury's and Asda are together battling claims from more than 200,000 shop floor workers.

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The supermarket chain has defended itself and said it had taken the necessary steps to ensure all staff were paid "fairly and equally" but Lee insisted the issue had been allowed to linger on for over three decades.

If even a small proportion of the women are successful, the bill for Tesco would be significant.

Similar cases were brought in 2014 against Asda, the United Kingdom arm of Walmart and in 2015 against J Sainsbury.

British companies are increasingly under pressure to take actions to lessen the gender pay gap.

The Asda case involves almost 20,000 shopworkers and the most recent ruling backed their right to compare their jobs to those of their mostly male colleagues working in distribution centres.

Tesco, which said it has not yet received any claims, said that it "works hard" to make sure all of its employees are "paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do".

It will now begin legal action against Britain's largest retailer on behalf of 100 of them.

"We are just trying to put things right and it's a shame we are still having to fight in this day and age".

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