ASDA Equal Pay

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 09 Mar, 2017

People stuff

Pic from BBC

The Office for National Statistics (“ONS”) reported on 26 October 2016  that the gender pay gap between men and women (for full-time workers) has fallen from 9.6% in April 2015 to 9.4% in April 2016 which is, of course, positive news.

This however might not be public perception or opinion following a recent high profile case in the news involving a major retailer.

For those who have missed it, a mass equal pay claim by employees at ASDA will proceed to tribunal following a recent decision where it was ruled as a preliminary issue that a group of Asda shop workers can compare themselves to depot workers for the purpose of pursuing an equal pay claim.

The claim in question is being pursued by more than 7000 former and current ASDA staff, mainly women, who claim their work stacking shelves and on the checkouts is equal to that in the supermarket’s distribution centres, where the workforce is largely male and are claiming historical discrimination. 

To be able to bring the claim under the Equality Act 2010 it was necessary for the female workers (the claimants) to show that the depot workers (the comparators) were employed by the same employer and were either employed at the same establishment or a different establishment but with ‘common terms’.

A spokesperson for the retailer had previously said that “at ASDA people doing the same job are paid the same. Men and women doing the same job in our retail stores are paid the same. Men and women doing the same job in distribution centres are paid the same. Pay rate in stores and depots differ for legitimate reasons, such as different market rates for different jobs".

In practical terms Asda resisted the claim asserting that, due to its corporate structure and the retail and distribution operations being separate, the pay-setting powers had been delegated to separate bodies.

The employment tribunal accepted that the claimants’ could compare themselves with the depot workers. Under EU law, the difference in pay could be attributed to a ‘single source’, in this case Asda’s Executive Board who exercised budgetary control over both the retail and distribution operations and therefore had the power to introduce pay equality.

The tribunal also said that the claimants’ terms were broadly similar to those of the depot employees and met the requirement under the Equality Act 2010 for ‘common terms’.

This case is the UK's largest ever private sector equal pay claim, involving women who felt they were paid less despite doing the same amount of work and the decision could amount to an estimated value of over £100m (for Asda). 

This is not the end of the case by all means and there are other matters to be determined ( is it equal work of equal value between the two set of compared workers?) however it could end up having far-reaching consequences for all the other retailers who have very same/similar organisational structures and pay divisions.

Asda continues to strongly dispute the claim against them.

What lessons can employers learn from this case? 

  1. different job titles do not necessarily mean that a disparity in pay between two groups of employees is justifiable 
  2. particular attention is needed where a group of employees is predominantly made up of a different gender to another group with same/similar but different job roles
  3. where there are pay discrepancies, the reasons for such differences need to be objectively justified and carefully documented.
Moreover the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap) Regulations 2017 which are due to come into force 6 April 2017 will impose obligations to companies of 250 or more employees to publish certain information in relation to the way they pay their employees and their gender pay gap. 

To avoid any very likely negative publicity, and/or costly claims, companies should review and have proactive plans to address any pay gap issues before information needs to be taken in April 2017.

Are you ready?

#Beaware #Beready seek advice.


 

The People Alchemist Blog

By The Alchemist About Town 22 Sep, 2017
I am so utterly delighted that my book is now out, available to order both on paperback and on Kindle edition just in time for Business Women's Day - YES!!!!!! :-) 

STOP IT! It's all in your head   is my labour of love and my way to encourage, inspire and empower women to achieve what they want professionally and not be confined by societal, religious, family paradigms of what " women should do/are like" and, most importantly, the restrictions in their head.
If that is being CEO of a Global Company or a stay-at-mum or Director of Paperclip ( whatever grabs your fancy) so be it.

Writing this book was also a personal challenge ( the 30 days thingy) which confirmed to me once and for all that you can really do whatever you set your mind to, if you really want to that is.

Couple of tips for writing a book from me:
  • write about what you are passionate about, you know more than you think.
  • free-write about the parts/chapters in the book you like the most and you are most interested in first - that will give you a great boost at the beginning - you can edit and add the boring bits later - by then most of the book will be almost there
  • keep your own voice - write as you speak so to speak ( people do need to understand you though..)
  • keep an open mind, ideas will flow into you mid-way through the project
  • a deadline and going public is good to beat procrastination ( but if that stresses you out too much don't do it) - the deadline certainly helped me.
You can do it too!!!

If anyone would like to be part of the book launch, the event is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it- I hope to meet you soon, in person or through the pages of my book.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



By The Alchemist About Town 19 Sep, 2017
The time is getting closer and closer to the release of   STOP IT, It's all in your head   my new book ( 22 September for Business Women's Day - US) .

I have now  received the proof copy of the paperback which looks absolutely fabulous: a couple of things to correct but overall I am super happy with the result.
A lot of marketing to do now between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ ( which is PS: looking like more work than the actual writing of the book).

The book event/launch/talk is live on Eventbrite and you can buy an Early Bird ticket now:
SMASH YOUR CEILING - #STOPITBookLaunch 
Thursday 12 October at 18.30
Business Design Centre
Islington
London

To pre- e-meet other super fab women in business attending the event, please use the following hashtags:
#SMASHYOURCEILING
#STOPITBookLaunch
#BDCWorks

I'm so excited about this book and I genuinely hope you will like it.

Laura x


#Hustle #GirlBoss #SmashThatCeiling
  #SmashYourCeiling
STOP IT! It's all in your head 
#dreambig #believe #youcan



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