Up to 200,000 staffers could be affected by the claim
In one of Britain’s largest ever equal pay claim, supermarket Tesco is facing a demand for up to £4bn in back pay from thousands of mainly female shopworkers.
Paula Lee, of Leigh Day solicitors, has lodged complaints with the conciliation service Acas, on behalf of nearly 100 Tesco staff who say they earn as much as £3 an hour less than male warehouse workers in similar roles. Up to 200,000 staffers could be affected by the claim.
The most common rate for women is £8 an hour whereas for men the hourly rate can be as high as £11 an hour, Lee told BBC.
She further added: “We believe an inherent bias has allowed store workers to be underpaid over 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 the depots, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco. The law has been there since 1984 – you can compare with a different job.
“That’s 34 years to put your house in order; that’s 34 years of having the advantage of paying unequally, 34 years of you making pay decisions and making financial decisions and 34 years hiding what is in open sight.”