Retail Equal Pay Claims: Success at Comparability stage
Andrew Short QC, Naomi Cunningham and Keira Gore (instructed by Leigh Day) have successfully represented over 7000 claimants before the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the UK’s largest ever private sector equal pay claim.
The appeal was to determine whether predominantly female workers in Asda’s retail stores were entitled to compare themselves to higher paid male workers in Asda’s distribution centres. Asda’s position was, in short, that because it set the more favourable terms and conditions of the distribution workers separately to the terms of the retail workers the two pay regimes were distinct and incomparable. This argument was rejected by the EAT who found that a comparison was valid applying domestic law and EU law.
This judgment makes it clear to employers that they cannot avoid liability for equal pay claims through the physical separation of male-dominated and female-dominated workforces. It will have a significant impact on any industry in which there is ‘occupational segregation’ between the sexes.
Asda has been given permission to appeal.
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Barristers: Naomi Cunningham | Keira Gore | Andrew Short QC