The Court of Appeal has issued its decision in the long running case of Asda Stores vs Brierley, where female Asda checkout staff have brought an equal pay claim arguing that their customer facing role is being undervalued compared to warehouse worker colleagues.

In 2017 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided that supermarket staff working in retail (mostly women) can compare their pay to warehouse employees (mostly men) who are generally better paid and work under a different management structure.

The Court of Appeal Decision – Common Terms

Equal Pay law is governed by the Equality Act 2010 which continues the original sex equality principles from the Equal Pay Act 1970 – that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work.

When comparing roles in an equal pay comparison, the roles need to be either:

  • at the same establishment; or
  • at different establishments where “common terms are observed”

The Court of Appeal found that both retail and distribution employees had “common terms” arising from a single source.  This has potentially widespread implications for any employers with employees at different locations who supposedly carry out different roles but have common terms.

Employees will be checking that their salaries match their colleagues, whether they do the same job or not.  If their work is of Equal Value, then they should expect Equal Pay.

Understanding Equal Pay

At Backhouse Solicitors we have a team of expert employment law solicitors who can answer any Equal Pay questions you may have.  To find out more, contact us today to book a free 30 minute initial consultation with one of our friendly professionals.

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