The UK Supreme Court has upheld a decision that ASDA workers are free to take further action in their equal pay battle.
The UK’s highest court agreed with an earlier Court of Appeal judgment that lower-paid store workers, who are mostly women, can compare themselves to higher-paid warehouse distribution workers, who are mostly men, for fair pay purposes.
This is an important victory for 44,000 employees, mostly members of the GMB Union, who have filed equal pay claims against their employer.
The ruling is one step in a longer process. It means that employees can move to the next stage in their legal proceedings: to contest that the work of store and warehouse workers is of equal merit and should have been granted equal pay.
The case is the biggest-ever equal pay claim in the UK private sector. The new ruling paves the way for a lengthy legal battle with repercussions for workers at other supermarkets, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Morrisons, who are also going through equal pay disputes with their employers.