Leah Aschettino

+44 (0)1733 887685 laschettino@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

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Equal pay: More on the Asda equal pay claims

employmentlaw@work / 07 September 2017

ISSUE:

In Asda Stores Ltd v Mrs S Brierley and ors the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed that a group of women who work in Asda’s retail stores can compare themselves with higher paid men who work in distribution centres for the purposes of an important equal pay claim.

You can read our last briefing on the Asda case here.

Asda appealed to the EAT, arguing that comparison between the two groups of workers was not possible because the retail stores and distribution centres were managed by different bodies and there were different methods of setting pay in each workplace.

The EAT rejected this argument and found that where there is a “single source” (i.e. a body responsible for the inequality which could restore the equal treatment) in control of pay arrangements and conditions for both groups of workers, a direct comparison is permitted.

On this basis, the EAT decided that the tribunal had been correct in their ruling last year; the roles were judged to be of equal value and could be compared.

However, the EAT has given Asda permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal and so we will need to “watch this space” for further developments.

KEY DATES:

The judgment was issued on 31 August 2017.

IMPACT:

The decision allows more than 7,000 workers to proceed with their claims and may open the floodgates for other supermarket equal pay claims.

ACTION:

We will continue to update you on key developments as the Asda case progresses. In the meantime, employers should review their pay structures and whether there are positions which are paid differently but are equal in delivery value.

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