Asda equal pay claims worth over £100 million

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This month, an employment tribunal has ruled that lower paid women who work in Asda supermarket stores can compare themselves to higher paid men who work in Asda’s distribution centre. This decision will allow a reported 7,000 workers of the retailer to proceed with their claim for equal pay.

The claim is brought by former and existing employees, with the majority of the Claimants being female, claiming that they have been paid less than other employees of the supermarket chain, despite the demands of the job being of equal value. Equal pay legislation applies not only to men and women doing the same job, but also where the jobs are considered of equal value to the employer. The equal terms can cover all aspects of pay and benefits, which include overtime rates and annual leave entitlements.

Asda is disputing the claim and asserting that because the supermarket stores and distribution centre were in different locations that they could apply different remuneration packages.

It is reported that the claims against Asda could see workers recovering in excess of £100 million, with claims going as far back as 2002. This significant triumph for the Claimants could open the floodgates for similar equal pay claims in the private sector.

Dom Bonham