A significant number of Tesco store workers are pursuing a claim against their employer for equal pay.

The case concerns employees working in male-dominated distribution centres being paid considerably more than shop assistants working in stores which are mainly female.

The equal pay claim will consider whether hourly paid store staff carry out work that is of “equal value” to staff working in distribution centres.

The Tesco case is similar to equal pay claims that have been pursued against Sainsbury’s and Asda.

Those pursuing the claims against Tesco are arguing that the work carried out is of equal value to the work carried out in distribution centres because there is also lifting and carrying in shops as well as dealing with customers and handling money as additional responsibilities.

Employers must give men and women equal treatment in the terms and conditions of their employment contract if they are employed to do:

  • ‘like work’ – work that is the same or broadly similar
  • work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study
  • work found to be of equal value in terms of effort, skill or decision making.

Employees can compare any terms in the contract of employment with the equivalent terms in a comparator’s contract. A comparator is an employee of the opposite sex working for the same employer, doing like work of equal value. However, an employer may defend a claim if they show the reason for the difference is due to a genuine factor and not based on the sex of the employee.

The equal terms can cover all aspects of pay and benefits, including:

  • basic pay
  • overtime rates
  • performance related benefits
  • hours of work
  • access to pension schemes
  • non monetary terms
  • annual leave entitlements.

If you require any advice concerning equal pay, please contact Farleys employment solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online contact form.