The case centres around deciding whether shop floor jobs are of equal value to higher-paid jobs in warehouses. If the Sainsbury’s workers win, they could be entitled to six years worth of back pay for the difference in earnings.The case resonates with one Asda faced at the end of 2014 that still hasn’t been settled. The supermarket is facing a mass legal action from more than 1,000 shop floor employees who claim they are underpaid compared with “mostly male staff” working in warehouses. The case could become the largest ever employment claim in the private sector, according to representative lawyers from Leigh Day. The firm suggested it had received 19,000 enquiries from current or former Asda staff in relation to the group legal action. Michael Newman, a discrimination and employment law expert at Leigh Day, said: “In the supermarkets the checkout staff and shelf-stackers are mostly women. The people in the warehouses are pretty much all men. And, as a whole, the group that is mostly men gets paid more. “Our investigations suggest that the jobs are pretty much the same, in that warehouse staff are responsible for taking items off shelves, putting them on pallets and loading them into lorries,” he said. “In the supermarket, they do the reverse: taking the pallets off the lorries, unstacking them and putting the items on the shelves. Where the jobs are not similar, we still think they are of equal value.” Read more about equal pay:
- David Cameron will force companies with 250 employees to reveal data on gender pay
- Innovating for gender equality will help women and business flourish
- Is Asda really facing a “Made in Dagenham for the 21st Century”?
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