Tesco equal pay claim estimated at up to £4bn

Up to 200,000 Tesco staff could be affected by the claim

Up to 200,000 Tesco staff could be affected by the claim

Its claim is likely to go before an employment tribunal before being taken to Acas.

Currently, the law firm says that distribution centre workers are paid up to £11 an hour, while shop floor workers take home around £8 an hour.

Leigh Day said that more than 1,000 Tesco employees had approached them.

"In terms of equal worth to the company, there really should be no argument that workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centres, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco, which a year ago had group sales of £49.9bn".

If you used to work on the shop floor at Tesco, you could become part of Britain's largest ever equal pay challenge.

Leigh Day solicitors, who have lodged the claim, have said that thousands of Tesco women employees may be inline to receive back pay totalling £20,000, should the challenge prove successful.

"We are unable to comment on a claim that we have not received", a spokeswoman said.

The Asda case involves almost 20,000 shopworkers and the most recent ruling backed their right to compare their jobs to those of their mostly male colleagues working in distribution centres.

A law that came into force previous year requires businesses with 250 or more workers to publish information about their pay gap by April.

Tesco has played down the lawsuit, saying it works hard to ensure all staff are paid "equally and fairly".

Across the United Kingdom, men earned 18.4 percent more than women in April 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.

Sheila Wild, equal pay expert at the Equal Pay Portal, said the vast claim Tesco is facing should "come as no surprise" to employers.

Tesco's shares were down 0.8 per cent at 9:50am in London on Wednesday.

A similar claim was launched against Asda in April 2014, when around 400 female employees brought an equal pay case.

Prime Minister Theresa May is keen to show she is tackling problems faced particularly by younger Britons, who deprived her ruling Conservatives of a majority in a snap election past year by overwhelmingly backing the left-wing Labour Party.

Responding to the claim, Tesco said that all their staff are able to progress equally and are paid fairly, regardless of their gender or background.

It comes after a review by the chief executive of The Royal Society of Arts Matthew Taylor said a year ago that many Britons working for firms in the gig economy deserved more entitlements.

"More than anything else, it is an exercise in kicking the problem into the long grass", said General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee.

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