A few months on from the landmark Supreme Court decision in the Asda equal pay claim, workers at Tesco have received a favorable judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in their own equal pay case.
Supermarket workers employed by Tesco (the majority of which are women) are seeking equal pay for work of equal value, compared to their (predominantly male) distribution centre colleagues, in a very similar set of circumstances to their counterparts at Asda.
The CJEU has determined that the ‘single source’ test under EU law does apply to UK businesses. This law states that those who work in different locations may be compared for the purposes of an equal pay claim, if there is a ‘single source’ for the terms and conditions of their employment.
As Tesco is the ‘single source’ for the terms and conditions of both the supermarket workers and distribution centre workers, the CJEU found this law may be relied upon by the supermarket workers in their claim despite the different locations.
As the question about whether the ‘single source’ test applied in this case was referred to the CJEU before the UK left the EU (it was originally referred in 2018), the judgment will be binding on future UK courts and tribunals.
This decision is in line with the decision of the Supreme Court in the Asda case, which focused on the UK legal test for comparing workers in equal pay claims and means the Tesco case will now move on to the next phase.
Both this and the Asda equal pay claims will take some time to advance, with similar cases also progressing against Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Co-op. With Asdaand Tesco both keen to continue to defend the claims, we will continue to see developments in this area for some time to come.
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