Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, is facing the country's largest ever equal pay claim and apossible compensation bill of up to four billion pounds ($5.6bn). In addition to being the biggestretailer, Tesco is also the largest private sector employer with a staff of over 310,000. Thousandsof Tesco's workers, mainly female, are looking for compensation from the company for whatthey consider unequal pay.
Law firm Leigh Day recently confirmed this allegation, saying that thousands of Tescoemployees working in its predominately male-dominated distribution centres are paid muchmore ($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 eventuallyrepresent more than 200,000 Tesco workers.
Paula Lee of Leigh Day shared the firm's opinion on the issue, 'We believe an inherent bias hasallowed 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 argumentthat workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centres, contribute at least equalvalue to the vast profits made by Tesco.'
What has Tesco's response been? 'We are unable to comment on a claim that we have notreceived,' 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 ourcolleagues are paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do.'
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