Tesco is facing an age and gender discrimination claim after it cut pay for night and weekend working for some of its longest serving employees.

A group of 17 workers who began their employment with the supermarket before 5 July 1999 are taking legal action to fight the cut in wages, which came into effect in July 2016.

Tesco increased wages for all workers paid by the hour by 3.1 per cent in July, but at the same time standardised Sunday and Bank Holiday pay at ‘time and a half’. The company’s longest standing employees had previously been paid ‘double time’ for these shifts.

Tesco said: “Earlier this year we announced a pay increase of up to 3.1 per cent for colleagues working in our stores across the UK, in addition to a five per cent turnaround bonus. As part of the pay negotiations we also agreed to simplify premium payments to ensure a fair and consistent approach for all colleagues. The minority of colleagues who were negatively impacted by this change were supported with an agreed lump sum transition payment.”

This payment was reported to be the equivalent of the pay lost over the next 18 months. It has not been disclosed how many workers were affected.