Over 44,000 Asda workers have won the latest leg of their equal pay claim with bosses through a Supreme Court ruling, paving the way for a legal battle that could continue for years.

The UK’s highest court has backed a Court of Appeal judgment that in-store staff are entitled to compare themselves to warehouse staff for equal pay purposes.

The in-store workers, who are mostly women, have brought equal pay claims on the grounds that those in the supermarket chain’s warehouses, who are mostly men, unfairly receive higher pay.

Law firm Leigh Day, who represent the women, says warehouse workers get between £1.50 and £3 more an hour and that the issue has far wider implications across the economy. The case stems from a 2016 employment tribunal decision for pay going back to 2002.

However, the case is not over yet and further litigation will be required before a final judgement can be made on the matter. The next stage will involve a further employment tribunal case to determine whether store and distribution jobs are of ‘equal value’. If that is successful it would then be for a tribunal to determine whether there are reasons other than gender for why staff working in stores should not get the same pay rates as those working in warehouses.

We are pay and reward specialists and regularly conduct equal pay audits and job evaluation exercises for our clients. If you need advice, or have any concerns or questions about pay within your organisation,
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