The Manchester Employment Tribunal has ruled that female store workers from Asda are entitled to the same pay as their male depot worker counterparts. This has cleared the way for an estimated 7,000 claims to made, costing the company over £100m.
The female store workers argued the case that, despite undertaking tasks of equal value to the depot workers, because of their gender they were paid considerably less. The women argued that their work was stereotypically women’s work and, therefore, seen to be of less value.
The outcome of the case hinged on s.79 of the Equality Act 2010. This section states that an equal pay comparison is only valid if the claimant and the comparator work for the same employer in the same establishment, or if they work for the same employer in different establishments but with common terms. Although the Employment Tribunal ruled in favour of the employees, Asda has indicated that it may appeal because it says that its depot workers are in different establishments without common terms. Asda argues, therefore, that it is not in breach of s.79 of the Equality Act 2010.