Female Tesco employees in Scotland could be entitled to back pay of £306 million, according to a map of claims published by a group fighting for “equal pay” at the supermarket.
Tesco Action Group, which is fighting a multi-million pound equal pay claim against Tesco on behalf of the supermarket’s current and former workers, says that UK-wide, it is estimated that approximately 250,000 current Tesco workers and an unknown number of former workers could be entitled to back pay of up to £10,000 each, resulting in a potential total pay-out exceeding £2.5bn.
Glasgow has one of the highest potential payouts in the UK at £56m, according to a map published today by the group.
The claimants say Tesco Stores breached its duty under section 66 of the Equality Act 2010 to pay them equally in comparison to men employed in comparable roles. The claim centres on store workers, who are predominantly women, who believe they have been paid up to £3 less per hour than warehouse and distribution centre workers - who are predominantly men.
Tesco, however, insisted there were “fundamental differences” between the jobs and pointed to the fact that men and women doing the same jobs were paid equally.
Jennifer Cassidy of law firm Harcus Sinclair, which is supporting the claim, said: “The equal pay map demonstrates the extent to which Tesco workers across the length and breadth of the UK are impacted by the supermarket’s outdated pay policy.
“We strongly encourage anyone who cares about equal pay to join our campaign and for Tesco workers to find out if they’re eligible to claim by visiting www.equalpayaction.com.”
In the claim, employees may be eligible if they work or worked in a Tesco store in Scotland during the previous five years.
Equal pay claims
The UK’s four main supermarkets are all currently fighting equal pay claims. In January, a Court of Appeal ruling supported the earlier findings of both the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal in determining that store workers at Asda could compare their roles to the roles of employees working in the supermarket’s distribution centres.
The group estimates that there are 30,500 Tesco workers in Scotland.
A spokesman for Tesco said: ““We work hard to ensure that we reward our colleagues fairly for the jobs they do. The pay in our stores and in our distribution centres is the same for female and male colleagues doing the same jobs. There are fundamental differences between the jobs in our stores vs those in distribution centres.
“These differences, in skills and demands, as well as the different markets in which they operate, do lead to variations in rates of pay between stores and distribution centres – but these are not in any way related to gender, and we will strongly defend these claims.”