Update on the Equal Pay claim at Asda for GMB trade union members
Dear GMB members
As we have previously updated you, the next step in the equal pay claim was due to start on 29th November, with an 'equal value' hearing in Manchester.
An equal value hearing is where the jobs of retail and distribution workers are compared for the judge and 'independent experts'
The GMB union had planned a pay justice campaign day to coincide with the start of the hearing, however, there has been some progress which means the hearing will now only be held over one day on 8th December and Asda women will no longer have to give evidence on their job roles in court.
We will provide you with an update on the outcome of this hearing as soon as we have it.
There will be another 'equal value' tribunal hearing after this one, we don't yet know the date for this, but it could be some time.
The GMB trade union is still asking Asda to carry out an Equal Pay Audit as this is something they can do outside of the legal process, please make sure you sign the petition calling on your employer to do this www.gmb.org.uk/Asda-equal-pay-audit-pledge
We will continue to keep you updated.
GMB trade union for Aada
We've been getting lots of questions about equal pay so here's a list of FAQs.
Q1. I completed my claim form ages ago - what's taking so long?!
A: Great question! In a nutshell, Asda are dragging their colleagues through the courts. Asda have decided to fight the equal pay claims every step of the way. They have already spent millions in legal costs and have lost every legal battle instead of sitting down with the GMB to find a negotiated settlement.
Q2. So, what's happening now?
A: On the 29th November 2021 Asda's women workers are in court to talk about their job role and explain to the court why their jobs are of 'equal value' to the work done by their male counterparts in the distribution centres. This is called an 'equal value' hearing. There will be more of these hearings. Asda can appeal against the outcome of these hearings if the judge finds in the Asda workers’ favour.
Q3. Is there anything else we can be doing to help win equal pay?
A: Absolutely! The GMB is launching a petition calling on Asda to carry out an Equal Pay Audit in partnership with the GMB. An equal pay audit compares the pay of men and women doing equal work in an organisation, doing an audit would demonstrate Asda's commitment to removing unfair pay practices. There is also more we can be doing to campaign in stores and politically to end unequal pay. You can sign the petition and find out more about the campaign here: www.gmb.org.uk/Asda-equal-pay-audit-pledge
Q4. If we eventually win, how much back pay will I be entitled to?
A: You can only receive back pay if you are part of the claim. A successful claim = up to 6 years back pay from the date your claim starts and back pay from the date the claim starts until the claim is resolved. This could be as much as £40,000 for a worker on 35 hours a week and assumes a £2ph difference between the retail and distribution worker.
Q5. I'm not on the claim so why should I care about Equal Pay?
A: Even if you are not on the claim you stand to benefit. You will not be entitled to back pay BUT Asda will have to put their pay structure right moving forward. The GMB estimates the difference between retail and distribution pay to be between £1:50 and £3ph - Asda would be obliged to reflect this in their pay structure after a successful equal pay win. The more GMB members there are in Asda, the better placed we are to negotiate an improved rate of pay or campaign successfully on Equal Pay.