All Equal at Tesco?

Female workers in Tesco stores are arguing that they have failed to receive equal pay when compared with colleagues in the Distribution Centres who are mostly male.

This case was considered by the European Court of Justice (as the case started before Brexit) and whilst it still has a long way to go, the ECJ determined that the store workers could rely on provisions of EU law in relation to ‘equal work’ even though the comparator employees (male colleagues at the distribution centres) work at a different establishment.

It now appears that there will be somewhat of a show-down between the big supermarkets (ASDA, Sainsburys, Morrisons and the Co-op are also facing similar claims) and their workers in the forthcoming years given that the latest barrier to compare the work between shop workers and distribution centre workers appears to have been removed.

The supermarkets argue that the two roles are fundamentally difference hence the reason for the different pay – whilst this argument has not yet been settled, we are one step closer to finding out the answer.

There may of course be one further twist in this story – whether the UK Government chooses to take action to assert its ‘sovereignty’ over the ECJ – one to watch!

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