The European Court of Justice has ruled that Tesco does not pay female staff the same amount for equivalent work done by male employees, in a landmark judgment that sides with employees of the UK supermarket giant.
Thousands of shop floor staff, most of whom are women, have accused Britain’s biggest grocer of paying them up to £3 per hour less than the mostly male warehouse workers, when their work is of equal value.
The Tesco Action Group, which first launched legal action in 2018, estimates as many as 25,000 female employees may be owed compensation after being underpaid for at least seven years.
Leigh Day, the law firm representing the Tesco employees, has previously said that affected workers could be entitled to as much as six years of back pay, amounting to at least £10,000 each.
It is thought that the case may be one of the last major decisions by the EU in relation to UK employment law before changes brought about by Brexit take hold.
The decision will bind the UK government and apply to any future equal pay case despite Britain leaving the European Union, Leigh Day has previously said.
In March, more than 44,000 Asda workers won a similar equal pay claim with bosses through a Supreme Court ruling, paving the way for a legal battle that could last years.
The UK’s highest court backed a Court of Appeal judgment that store staff are entitled to compare themselves to distribution staff for equal pay purposes.
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