Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW) is facing equal pay claims worth over £1bn, according to law firm Leigh Day, which is seeking compensation for women who believe they were paid less than men in the group’s distribution centres.
In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, Leigh Day said that Morrisons had around 80,000 store staff eligible to claim, which could result in a bill for back pay of over £1bn if the retailer's action is found to be unlawful.
The law firm, which is already working on claims on behalf of workers at the other big three UK supermarket chains, said in February that Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) was facing a potential bill of up to £4bn in an equal pay claim involving women working at its British stores.
Emma Satyamurti, a partner in Leigh Day, said in the statement: "We believe that Morrisons, as with the other major supermarkets, has underpaid those working in its stores for a number of years.
“The big four supermarkets in the UK make vast amounts each year in profits - it is time that they faced up to their legal obligations under Equal Pay legislation."
Leigh Day also said it believed employees working in male-dominated distribution centres were paid considerably more than largely female-staffed stores.
A representative for Morrisons told Reuters that the firm – which releases its interim results on Thursday - was not aware of any court proceedings issued by a third party.