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The Court of Appeal confirms that shop floor workers are comparable to workers in distribution depots

Asda Stores Ltd engages predominantly female retail employees and predominantly male distribution employees. They work at different establishments. The female employees brought claims for equal pay and compared themselves to the male distribution employees who were paid a higher salary.

A preliminary point that was considered was whether the female employees can compare themselves, for the purposes of Equal Pay Act, to the male employees if they work in different parts of the business.

The Employment Tribunal considered this point and confirmed that they could. Asda appealed the decision to the EAT and was not successful. A further appeal was made to the Court of Appeal and it confirmed earlier this week that jobs in different parts of the business can be compared for the purposes of the Equal Pay Act.

The next stage in the equal pay dispute is to consider whether the work that the retail employees undertake is equal value compared to the work that the distribution employees undertake.

This is a significant decision and could open the door for thousands of equal pay claims in the retail sector.

If you have any queries in relation to equal pay issues in your organisation then please contact Sejal Raja on


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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