Equal Pay Explained

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Through Equal Pay Now, we are launching a legal claim to challenge the unjust treatment of supermarket and high street shop workers, who do long hours and arduous work, yet are paid less than their colleagues working in warehouses and distribution centres.

Traditionally shop work has been done by women, and warehouse work by men. A stereotypical assumption that jobs in warehouses are more demanding has resulted in unequal wages. We say this is unfair. Thanks to the Equality Act, it may also be unlawful.

Where two jobs in the same company are different but of equal value, the Act states that employees must be paid the same (unless the employer can justify not doing so). We believe the hourly paid work done in stores is equal to the hourly paid work done in distribution centres, and that they should be paid the same. If we are right about this, then thousands of female workers, and an increasing number of men who have joined them on the shop floor over the years, have been left seriously out of pocket.


We believe that supermarket and high street shop workers are being treated unfairly by their employers. That is why we are taking our claim to an employment tribunal on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis.

We are confident that we can prove that the work done by employees in supermarket and high street shops is equal to the work carried out in warehouses and distribution centres.

Victory in court would mean two things for those who join our claim: improved wages and a chance to claim up to six years of back pay.

Our legal case will be led by the claim of female shop workers. If successful, our male members will be able to ‘piggyback’ this action and enjoy the same improved wages and opportunity to reclaim lost earnings.


All supermarket and high street shop workers who are paid by the hour can join Equal Pay Now. It doesn’t matter how long you have had your job for or what gender you are. If you have recently left employment at a supermarket or high street shop, you may also be able to join the claim.

The fact that Leigh Day are working on a ‘no win-no fee’ basis means our members only pay legal fees if we win, with the amount payable made clear before the claim proceeds (For more on costs and fees, go here).

If the court rules in our favour, it is likely that all supermarket and high street shop workers will have their pay increased, but only those who signed up to our claim will be eligible for compensation.

If you are worried that by joining the claim you might lose your job as a result, please don’t be. When a worker makes a claim for equal pay, it is unlawful for their employer to discipline, sack or discriminate against them in any way as a result.

Find out how to join our movement for fair treatment here.