Equal pay case that could affect many…
Published on August 25, 2016
published on August 25, 2016

ThePeopleAlchemist Edit: HR, Business and equal pay


An equal pay case involving 400 female employees of supermarket ASDA could bring about several similar claims elsewhere in the private sector.




The case concerns equal pay claims from about 7,000 current and former hourly-paid store colleagues. Approximately 30% of them are male. The women who work as check-out staff and shelf stackers claim that the (predominantly male) workers in ASDA’s distribution depots are doing work of equal value. Yet are being paid substantially more. Counsel for ASDA argued that the case could have an “enormous effect” on the retail trade. Given the importance and the complexity, he argued that the High Court would deal with the case better than the Employment Tribunal.


The Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The Tribunal did not have the power to impose a stay to force the (400) Claimants to transfer the claim to the High Court. The Equality Act gives the High Court power to transfer an equal pay claim to the Tribunal. However, the Tribunal has no equivalent power to transfer a claim to the High Court.
The Claimants had a clear statutory right to choose the appropriate forum to bring their claim.



The ASDA equal pay litigation now proceeds in the Employment Tribunal following the decision by the Court of Appeal on 22 June 2016. See Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley & OrsVictory at Employment Tribunal could cost ASDA six years’ worth of wages disparities. But also put other retailers running their own distribution centres at risk.
Moreover, it could also affect any sector with predominantly female groups of employees doing work that could potentially be rated as equal in value to the work done by predominantly male groups of employees. If this is the case in your organisation, it is worth reviewing pay practices now. Plus having a clear plan to address disparities.
You should take preventative action. Now. Rather than being forced to do so later … Be warned.


Laura Mariani

Laura Mariani

Best Selling Author, Speaker, Change & Transformation Expert


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