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Equal pay claims: private sector takes centre stage - Personnel Today

Equal pay claims: private sector takes centre stage - Personnel Today

By Personnel Today - 22 February 2018

As Tesco potentially faces a £4bn equal pay claim from its female employees, and claims are pursued against Asda and Sainsbury’s, are we moving into a new era of private sector equal pay claims? Paul Quain and Dónall Breen from GQ Employment Law look at recent developments.

In 1968, seamstresses at Ford’s Dagenham factory demanded equal wages for equal work, pointing out the male workers in the paint shop were being paid more for similar value work.

Their ensuing protests and national movement led to the Equal Pay Act 1970, but 48 years later equal pay claims continue to dominate the headlines.

In 2014, more than 10,000 shop workers at Asda began a claim against their employer that men in the distribution centres were being paid more for similar work.

More recently, it has been reported that Tesco could face up to £4bn in equal pay claims as a result of alleged underpayment of female workers. Although Tesco says it has not received any claims to date, the law firm Leigh Day claims over 1,000 current and former employees have already been in contact.

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