Supreme Court Asda Case – Asda Stores Ltd (Appellant) v Brierley and others (Respondents)

By Khadijah Suleman



WHAT WAS THE CASE ABOUT?


The Asda case regarding Asda workers has found itself in favour of the shop workers by the Supreme Court which completed its ruling on the ongoing dispute of equal pay. The decision was concerning the preceding judgments. It started in 2016 when the original decision was passed by an employment tribunal which led to the subsequent decision in 2019 by the Court of Appeal. The judgement resulted in the possibility of Asda having to pay the workers, up to £500 million. This is in regards to compensation.


WHAT IS THE EFFECT?


The argument was in relation to the workers being paid £1-3 an hour which was less than other workers. Results showed that female workers were affected the most compared to male workers. This ruling will result in the future of gender equality being affected across many sectors. Equal pay has been a constant issue that has been frequently risen by employees within other prominent supermarkets such as Sainsbury's, Tesco and more. The majority of these employees are most likely to rely on the Supreme Court's ruling in future equal pay disputes. This could result in supermarkets being more willing to negotiate for equal pay to avoid legal disputes and paying significant amounts of compensation.


Other issues that arise with the case that is questioned are issues on how the equal value of work would be defined within the industry. This suggests that such issues will be tackled in a future employment tribunal and not the Supreme Court, so equal pay is likely to remain a constant issue. Overall, indicating that the Asda case is an important case to note for students or workers in the legal field as this case highlights an important area of employment law for the future.

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