Tesco is facing a potential demand for up to £4bn in back pay, as female shop workers claim they earned less than male counterparts.
Legal action has been launched by the firm Leigh Day on behalf of almost 100 shop assistants working at the supermarket, who say they earn up to £3 an hour less than male workers in similar warehouse roles, according to The Guardian.
Up to 200,000 workers may ultimately be impacted by the claim, with estimates that Tesco could be forced to pay up to £20,000 per worker in back pay over at least six years. This could cost the retailer up to £4bn.
The claim is based on the fact that Tesco warehouse workers earn between £8.50 an hour and £11 an hour in basic pay, while store staff are paid £8 per hour. Over a year this could mean a discrepancy of up to £5,000.
Leigh Day is said to be in the process of submitting claims through the conciliation service Acas, the first step towards an employment tribunal.
Similar cases are currently underway at fellow supermarkets Asda and Sainsbury’s, which involve almost 20,000 and 1,000 workers respectively.