Equal pay claims submitted against Morrisons

The first batch of equal pay claims against Morrisons have been submitted.

Law firm Leigh Day lodged the claims against the Bradford-headquartered supermarket with the Employment Tribunal.

Leigh Day is seeking compensation for women in stores who believe they are paid less than men in the distribution centres for equal work.

The law firm has already received around 1,000 enquiries from Morrisons staff.

As Morrisons has around 80,000 store staff eligible to claim, the final bill for back pay could be in excess of £1bn.

Leigh Day is also bringing Equal Pay claims against the other ‘big four’ supermarkets. The law firm is already taking legal action on behalf of 30,000 staff working in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores.

Emma Satyamurti, partner in law firm Leigh Day’s employment team, said: “We believe that Morrisons has made the same mistake as the other big supermarkets – Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco – by underpaying those working in the stores.

“These are huge companies with big profits and they have no excuse for not facing up to their legal obligations under Equal Pay legislation.”

She added: “Our clients are fighting for equal pay with those working in the distribution centres, who they believe are doing work of equal value. The law states that women and men doing work of equal value should be paid the same.

“As we marked Equal Pay Day this weekend, on the same date as the last two years, it is clear that businesses must do more to ensure they are taking their responsibilities in relation to equal pay seriously and move swiftly to correct any inequalities that are identified.”

Morrisons have responded to the lodging of these claims in a statement, which said: “We believe we pay our colleagues fairly and equally for the job that they do, irrespective of their gender, and we will be defending this claim.”