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Tesco staff win ‘landmark ruling’ in equal pay case

Represented by Leigh Day, roughly 50,000 majoritively female shop floor workers had filed the case in a bid to gain equal pay with their distribution centre colleagues

Tesco workers have won a legal battle for equal pay following a “landmark ruling” from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Represented by Leigh Day, roughly 50,000 majoritively female shop floor workers had filed the case in a bid to gain equal pay with their mostly male distribution centre colleagues.

In turn, the court ruled that under EU law a person can compare their role to that of a different person’s who works in a separate establishment if a “single source” can correct the pay difference.

The CJEU said: “Where such pay conditions can be attributed to a single source, the work and the pay of those workers can be compared, even if they work in different establishments.”

It comes after a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that claimed Asda shop floor workers can compare their roles to those in the group’s distribution centres for equal pay purposes.

Kiran Daruka, a partner in the employment team at Leigh Day, said that the CJEU’s judgement “reinforces the Supreme Court ruling”.

She added: “Clarification from the CJEU confirms that this single source test can be relied upon by people in the UK bringing an equal value claim. 

“This means that employers can no longer hide behind the grey areas of UK law. It’s time for supermarkets to accept that the roles of shop floor workers and distribution centre workers are comparable.”

A Tesco spokesperson commented: “The jobs in our stores and distribution centres are different. These roles require different skills and demands which lead to variations in pay – but this has absolutely nothing to do with gender.

“We reward our colleagues fairly for the jobs they do and work hard to ensure that the pay and benefits we offer are fair, competitive and sustainable.”

They added: “These claims are extremely complex and will take many years to reach a conclusion. We continue to strongly defend these claims.”

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