UK: Equal pay claim brought by employees against supermarket Morrissons for allegedly discriminating against women

Author: Independent, Published on: 19 February 2019

"Morrisons faces Valentine's Day equal pay claim. A case of 'love me love equality'?" 16 Feb 2019

…Equal pay claims [were] lodged against Britain’s big supermarkets, Morissons [by]…Law firm Roscoe Reid…Leigh Day…hit Morrisons at the end of last year and has 35,000 claims (and counting) against all of the big four supermarkets, of which its battle with Asda is the furthest advanced and perhaps the most famous. The claims focus on the fact that the primarily female workforce in stores were paid less than the primarily male workforce in distribution centres for what they argue is equal work. The workers maintain that this was not only unfair, it was also discriminatory and thus unlawful…

The first question that has to be answered in this one is whether the roles under consideration are comparable. Just last month the Court of Appeal upheld an Employment Tribunal ruling that the shop workers were entitled to compare themselves to distribution centre workers. The other questions are whether the roles are of equal value if they’re found to be comparable, and if they are of equal vale, whether there is reason other than sex discrimination that means they should not be paid equally. 

Asda’s argument…rest upon what they say are the demands of the jobs in stores and the jobs in distribution centres…[and] that they hire from different parts of the labour market…  Leigh Day called upon Asda to settle immediately the Appeal Court ruling was handed down, as you might expect. But given the sums at stake, the supermarkets are almost bound to take the case right to the end, disappointing though that may be…

[Refers to Tesco]

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Related companies: ASDA (part of Walmart) Morrisons Tesco