Tesco Stores Ltd v Element and others UKEAT/0228/20/AT

Appeal against the ET’s decision to make orders against the Respondent for the disclosure of documents and the provision of information relating to comparators. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimants, who are approximately 9,000 store-based employees or former employees of the Respondent (and predominantly female), claimed that their work was of equal value to that of workers based in the Respondent's distribution centres (who are predominantly male), but that some of the unnamed comparators enjoyed more favourable terms and conditions than the Claimants. The Claimants made an application for the disclosure of documents and the provision of information relating to comparators, and the ET made a number of orders for disclosure and the provision of information. The Respondent appealed on grounds including that the ET had erred in law in concluding that prima facie claims had been advanced by the Claimants against the Respondent, and so the applications amounted to "fishing expeditions" to enable the Claimants to formulate claims not yet in existence.

The EAT held that the ET had adopted the correct approach by applying the term "prima facie" not in the sense of an evidential threshold, as contended for by the Respondent, but merely in the sense of having some reasonable prospects of success; as a result, the essential ingredients of an equal pay claim (namely, equal work and unequal pay between claimants and their comparators) were present, and there was some reasonable basis for asserting a difference in pay.


Published: 10/03/2021 18:57

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