Court rules in favour of equal pay claim by Tesco workers

Tesco loses equal pay case, meaning women on the shop floor move a step closer to getting pay parity with men in distribution centres.

Equal Pay

 

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that employees working in stores can compare their roles to colleagues working in distribution centres for the purpose of equal pay in a claim against the supermarket Tesco.

Before the UK left the EU, the CJEU was asked whether part of European law could be relied upon by people in the UK making equal value claims against their employer.

Under EU law, a woman can compare their role to that of a man’s working in a different establishment if a ‘single source’ has the power to correct the difference in pay.

The CJEU said: “Where such pay conditions can be attributed to a single source, the work and the pay of those workers can be compared, even if they work in different establishments.”

The case is one of a number being brought by mainly female shop floor workers who claim they are paid unfairly in comparison to distribution centre colleagues, most of whom are men.

Earlier in the year, the Supreme Court ruled that Asda shop floor workers can compare their roles to those of their colleagues in distribution centres for the purposes of equal pay. Despite this decision, other supermarkets are still arguing that the roles are not comparable.

Kiran Daurka, a partner in the employment team at Leigh Day, said: “This judgment reinforces the Supreme Court’s ruling that the roles of shop floor workers can be compared to those of their colleagues in distribution centres for the purposes of equal pay.

“For a long time, employers have argued that UK law in this area is unclear, but this judgment is simple, if there is a single body responsible for ensuring equality, the roles are comparable.

“Clarification from the CJEU confirms that this single source test can be relied upon by people in the UK bringing an equal value claim. This means that employers can no longer hide behind the grey areas of UK law. It’s time for supermarkets to accept that the roles of shop floor workers and distribution centre workers are comparable.”

Although the UK has left the EU, there are a number of British laws relating to equality which were made when the UK was still a member and the British Parliament has chosen to retain those laws so they still form part of British law.

 



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