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Retail Giant Tesco Faces Britain's Largest Equal Pay Claim


Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, is facing the country's largest ever equal pay claim and a
possible compensation bill of up to four billion pounds ($5.6bn). In addition to being the biggest
retailer, Tesco is also the largest private sector employer with a staff of over 310,000. Thousands
of Tesco's workers, mainly female, are looking for compensation from the company for what
they consider unequal pay.

Law firm Leigh Day recently confirmed this allegation, saying that thousands of Tesco
employees working in its predominately male-dominated distribution centres are paid much
more ($15.40 an hour, or more) than the largely female-staffed Tesco stores ($11.12 an hour).
The law firm also stated that it had begun filing claims with the employee conciliation service,
Acas, on behalf of 100 women. However, they revealed that the firm expects to eventually
represent more than 200,000 Tesco workers.

Paula Lee of Leigh Day shared the firm's opinion on the issue, "We believe an inherent bias has
allowed store workers to be underpaid for many years."

She went on to say, "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."

What has Tesco's response been? "We are unable to comment on a claim that we have not
received," said a Tesco spokesman.

He went on to say that "Tesco has always been a place for people to get on in their career,
regardless of their gender, background or education, and we work hard to make sure all our
colleagues are paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do."

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