Supermarket Equal Pay Claims

On Friday 14th October 2016, the Employment Tribunal in Manchester handed down its Judgment following the Preliminary Hearing of 7,000 Asda workers who have been fighting an equal pay claim against the supermarket. The claims were originally brought in 2008 and the recent Judgment is a significant victory for the workers.

The claims were brought by both male and female workers on the basis that those who work in shop stores are paid less than those who work in the distribution centres. The disparity in pay can be as much several pounds per hour. The workers in the distribution centres will tend to be male in contrast to store workers who are often female. Male workers in stores are able to rely on the same arguments as their female colleagues and so can “piggy back” onto female claims. The argument put forward at the Employment Tribunal by the Asda workers was that the store workers were doing “work of equal value” to those in the distribution centres and so should be paid the same.

Asda tried to argue that store workers could not compare themselves to those who worked in the distributions centres. The main argument used by Asda was that as the stores and distribution centres were two separate locations and so could not be considered to be the same “establishment”.  Asda also argued that there were different pay structures between store workers and distribution workers and that the demands of the jobs were different.

The Employment Tribunal Judge rejected Asda’s arguments and found that the claims can proceed. The Judgment was from a Preliminary Hearing and so is not the final outcome of the case. The next stage will be for the Employment Tribunal to assign a full hearing which will establish if the work done by store workers can be considered to be of “equal value” to workers in distribution centres. If the Employment Tribunal finds in favour of the store workers, then this may mean significant pay-outs for the workers involved.

It is likely that those who work for other supermarkets will also be affected (Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi). If you work for a supermarket in a store and you feel that you may be entitled to a claim, then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information or to request an equal pay information pack please call 0141 333 6750 or go on our equal pay page and fill out the form on the right hand side. 

Dallas McMillan has extensive experience in equal pay claims and within the last 12 months settled a multi-million pound claim for almost 800 claimants. We continue to act for several thousand claimants in ongoing equal pay claims at the Employment Tribunal. We represent clients for equal pay claims on a no win no fee basis.

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