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Asda store employees can compare their pay with distribution workers

Makbool Javaid

In ASDA Stores Ltd v Brierley & Ors, around 7,000 equal pay claims were brought by Asda supermarket employees, nearly all women, who argued that their work is of equal value with that of distribution workers based at depots, who are nearly all men, and are paid more. An ET decided that the store workers can compare their work with that of distribution workers. Asda appealed arguing that because more favourable terms and conditions were set for the distribution workers via collective agreements separately to the terms for retail workers, the two pay schemes were entirely different and so could not be compared. The EAT rejected the appeal. Where there is a “single source” of pay and conditions, a comparison between the claimant and the comparator is permitted independently of whether unequal treatment arises from collective agreements and whether or not the employment is in the same establishment. Asda have been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

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