Broadly similar roles in different parts of the same business are comparable for the purposes of the Equal Pay Act 2010
The Court of Appeal has confirmed that jobs in different parts of the same business can be compared for the purposes of the Equal Pay Act 2010. This decision will be of particular relevance to those who operate within the retail sector but all business owners should be considering whether there are any roles which could be deemed broadly similar.
This is the long awaited CoA decision in Asda v Brierley and others  EWCA Civ 44 which was handed down on 31 January 2019. Briefly, thousands of retail workers have brought a claim against Asda on the basis that they are paid less than other Asda staff working in distribution depots. As is common across the retail sector, the in-store retail workers are predominantly female and distribution workers are overwhelmingly male.
The initial claim in the Employment Tribunal in Manchester on 14 October 2016 was decided in favour of the Claimants (the retail staff) and this decision was upheld by Kerr J in the Employment Appeal Tribunal by a judgment handed down on 31 August 2017. This was Asda's appeal against that decision and was heard in October 2018.
The issue in question was whether the claimants were entitled to compare themselves to the comparators at all, given that they work in separate establishments, under s 1(6) Equal Pay Act 1970 (“EPA 1970”) and s. 79 Equality Act 2010 (“EqA 2010”).
The next stage, now that this one has been decided, is to consider whether the work that the retail employees undertake is equal value compared to the work that the distribution employees undertake. If it is, this could open the door to thousands of other claims.
Posted on 5 February, 2019 by Ortolan