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Tesco's pay claim - what makes different jobs 'equal'?

Penny Brooks

9th February 2018

The size of pay claim that Tesco's could face, if they are found guilty of gender discrimination, is massive, as employees would then have the right to reclaim underpaid wages for up to six years. The law firm representing the women bringing the claim, Leigh Day, noted that “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.” This scrutiny could cost Tesco up to £4bn. There is a short video explaining the case here.

The difficulty that Tesco's, and the law firm, face, is to prove that the job of women working in Tesco stores is of 'equal value' as the work of men in the distribution centres. The women are typically paid £8 per hour, and the men up to £11. This Fact Check article from Channel 4points out that men in the shops, also paid less than those in the distribution centres, would also stand to benefit if the case is found in the employees favour. 

Penny Brooks

Formerly Head of Business and Economics and now Economics teacher, Business and Economics blogger and presenter for Tutor2u, and private tutor

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