A step by step process to the supermarket equal pay claims

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Taking on a multinational company might seem daunting, but Leigh Day is with you every step of the way. Here, Lara Kennedy, a solicitor in the employment team, takes you through the Equal Pay Now claim step by step.

At Leigh Day the most important thing to us is getting justice for our clients and we want to make that process as easy as possible.

So, what exactly can you expect if you decide to get involved?

How do I join the claim?

You can contact Leigh Day either via the website or by phone.

If you register online you will need to answer a few short questions about your employment. This should take around two minutes to complete.

You’ll then be asked to read and accept the ‘no win no fee’ agreement. This is also known as a ‘Damages Based Agreement’ (DBA).

If you’d prefer to speak to someone in our legal team, the process is the same via phone. A paralegal will take some details and send you the DBA via email or post.

Once we have received your DBA you will become one of our clients.

What happens after I have signed up?

Our legal team will notify ACAS of your intention to start proceedings and submit your claim to the Employment Tribunal. This is sent to the supermarket’s legal team but it’s highly unlikely that anyone in your store would be informed.

There will be no need for you to attend tribunals unless you would be willing to talk about the job that you do.

You will need to provide us with either your National Insurance or your employee number. This is so the supermarket can provide us with your employment history. This will help us to calculate how much compensation you may be entitled to.

What will Leigh Day do for me?

Our team of solicitors will work for you to prove your work is of equal value to distribution centre workers.
There are three things that need to be proven as part of an equal value claim:

1. Comparability: can store workers compare themselves to workers in the distribution centres?

In equal value claims the first step is for the claimants (in this case store workers) to find somebody they can compare their job to. The person chosen must be the opposite sex. Both people need to be employed by the same employer at the same location. If not in the same location, the ability to correct the difference in pay needs to be down to a single organisation, or both roles need to have common terms and conditions of employment.

In the supermarket claims we are comparing store workers, who are predominately women, to distribution centre workers, who are predominately men.

This is another reason why it is important to provide your National Insurance or employee number. Your employment history will help us to identify a suitable comparator.

2. Equal value: is the work done by the store workers of equal value to the work done by the distribution centre workers?

In order to decide this, the employment tribunal will appoint an independent expert who will draw up factors to compare the two jobs by. The expert will assess and mark how hard each job is using these factors. All of this information is then passed onto the judge to see if they agree with the findings and determine whether the roles are of equal value.

3. Material factor defence: do the supermarkets have a genuine reason for the pay difference which is not based on gender?

If the supermarkets can show men and women are paid differently for work of equal value for a reason unrelated to sex, then they have a defence. Factors can include geographical location, different working hours, length of service, or different skills, qualifications and experience.
If the Tribunal decides a material factor defence does not apply, the claims will have been successful, and compensation will be decided.

Your involvement in these three stages is minimal. This is all work that is going on behind the scenes, carried out by our dedicated legal team. Rest assured we’ll keep you informed with any developments.

When will I receive compensation

Because there are a number of stages to work through, it can take a long time to reach a conclusion.

We are acting for supermarket workers on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, so you don’t pay anything unless you win.

If successful, you will be paid up to six years’ worth of back pay from the date we start your claim. You are also entitled to compensation from the date we start you claim until it is resolved. This could be worth thousands.

Why should I join the claim?

We believe the claim that store and distribution centre workers do jobs of equal value for the supermarkets is a strong and winnable one.

This is why we advocate equal pay. After all, fair pay is the least you deserve.

 

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