There has been another preliminary ruling by the employment tribunal in the Brierley and others v. ASDA Stores Ltd litigation. The case concerns equal pay claims from about 7,000 current and former hourly paid store colleagues, of which approximately 30% are male. The claimants argue that the (predominantly male) workers in Asda’s distribution depots are doing work of equal value to them, and yet are being paid substantially more.

The employment tribunal has now decided as a preliminary issue that the store workers can use depot workers as comparators in their equal pay claims, because they are employed on common terms. The focus of the litigation will now turn to the more substantive issue of whether the claimants’ store work is of equal value to that done in the distribution depots.

This equal pay case highlights a continuing focus on gender pay gap and equal pay issues in the workplace. It comes at a time when we are waiting for the Government to publish the final gender pay gap reporting regulations. These regulations are intended to encourage employers to review their workforce pay arrangements and take steps to reduce any gender pay gaps and potential pay discrimination issues that may be found.

BLP’s Employment Group is monitoring progress in the current ASDA equal pay litigation and on the implementation of the gender pay gap regulations, and we will keep you informed of the latest developments.