Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Tesco could face a bill of £4bn in an equal pay case

Tesco could face a bill of £4bn in an equal pay case. Picture: PHIL MORELY

Tesco could face a bill of £4bn in an equal pay case. Picture: PHIL MORELY

Archant

Lawyers say the case could eventually involve 200,000 women – making it the largest equal pay challenge in the UK.

Law firm Leigh Day is taking the first stage of the claim to conciliation service Acas on behalf of 100 women, who say they are paid less than men for work of equal value.

Tesco said it works to ensure that all staff are paid “fairly and equally”.

Lawyers argue that employees working in the male-dominated distribution centres are paid considerably more than the largely female-staffed Tesco stores, and may earn £11 an hour while the most common grade for store staff sees them receive around £8 per hour.

The disparity could see a full-time distribution worker on the same hours earning more than £100 a week, or £5,000 a year, more than store staff, Leigh Day said.

The law firm said it had been approached by more than 1,000 employees and ex-employees of the supermarket, and claims the case could lead to compensation payments of £4bn.

Paula Lee, from Leigh Day, who is representing the Tesco women, said: “We believe an inherent bias has allowed store workers to be underpaid for many years.

“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 last year had group sales of £49.9bn.

“In the week where we have marked the 100-year anniversary since women began to get the vote, the time has come for companies and public organisations to have a long, hard look at themselves, to see the inequality which is still deeply entrenched in their organisations.”

The claims have been submitted to conciliation body Acas and the move follows similar cases against Asda and Sainsbury’s which are currently being dealt with by the employment tribunal process.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on a claim that we have not received.

“Tesco has always been a place for people to get on in their career, regardless of their gender, background or education, and we work hard to make sure all our colleagues are paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do.”

The company said it carefully considers any changes to pay in partnership with the shopworkers’ union Usdaw, which is not involved in the case.

Home Office staff are hoping to speak to former Ipswich Mayor Inga Lockington as soon as possible to try to ensure that her path to British citizenship is smoothed.

A drive to build a new breast care centre at Ipswich Hospital has captured the hearts of the public, passing the £100,000 mark just six months after the launch.

Proposals to turn the former Odeon cinema on Major’s Corner in Ipswich into a new centre for the Hope Church look set to take a big step forward next week.

A man who inflicted an “horrendous and premeditated” attack on his wife before setting himself on fire has been jailed for 14 years.

Proposals to turn the former Odeon cinema on Major’s Corner in Ipswich into a new centre for the Hope Church look set to take a big step forward next week.

The owl, who is thought to be a male, was found at the beginning of May having been hit by a car on the A12 southbound toward Seven Hills.

The six artists, who all live in Hackney Road, Melton, discovered their mutual interest in painting and other media and decided to get together to showcase their work.

Police in Suffolk have launched a brand new phone system to maximise the efficiency of the non-emergency line.

A Shetland pony from East Anglia who works with the elderly in care homes has been named a dementia ambassador by the East of England Co-Op.

A campaign to make Ipswich a better place for people living with dementia has taken a leap forward.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24