By Sacha Sokhi, an employment law specialist at Irwin Mitchell:

“The Supreme Court has upheld previous decisions that lower paid shop staff (mostly women) can compare themselves with higher paid warehouse workers (mostly men). The Supreme Court has confirmed that the relevant question is whether the terms and conditions of employment of the comparators are “broadly the same”.

"Importantly, the terms need not be identical. Whilst this is a welcomed decision for the 44,000 Asda claimants, it is yet to be determined whether the work performed was of equal value and this will likely lead to further lengthy litigation. However, this is an important step in the right direction for those seeking equal pay for equal work and will no doubt lead to many employees and workers challenging their right to equality in the workplace. This is not just limited to the retail sector but will also impact on such diverse areas as financial services, medical and healthcare and professional services.”

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