UK retailer Tesco faces £4 billion claim over unequal pay for women

Lawyers argue that Tesco’s in-store employees, who are largely women, are paid far less than those in the male-dominated distribution centers, even though their work is of equal value to the company.
Updated 07 February 2018

UK retailer Tesco faces £4 billion claim over unequal pay for women

LONDON: British supermarket chain Tesco is facing legal claims that it is paying women less than men for work of equal value, in a case that lawyers estimate could ultimately cost it as much as £4 billion (SR20.9 billion) in compensation payments.
Law firm Leigh Day said Wednesday it has begun filing claims with the employee conciliation service Acas on behalf of 100 women, but the case could eventually apply to more than 200,000 Tesco workers.
“We believe an inherent bias has allowed store workers to be underpaid for many years,” said Paula Lee of Leigh Day. “In terms of equal worth to the company there really should be no argument that workers in stores, compared to those working in distribution centers, contribute at least equal value to the vast profits made by Tesco.”
The lawyers argue that in-store employees, who are largely women, are paid far less than those in the male-dominated distribution centers, even though their work is of equal value to the company.
Tesco said it had not yet seen the claim, but that it works hard “to make sure all our colleagues are paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do.”


Gulf economies to take coronavirus exports hit says S&P

Updated 17 February 2020

Gulf economies to take coronavirus exports hit says S&P

  • S&P expects oil prices to remain at $60 per barrel in 2020 and decline to $55 from 2021
  • The ratings agency expects the impact on the banking sector to be low, with little direct exposure to Chinese companies

LONDON: Gulf states already hurt by a weak oil price could reap further economic pain from the impact of the coronavirus on their exports, S&P Global Ratings warned on Monday.

The ratings agency believes there is a risk that the economic impact of the virus could increase unpredictably with implications for overall economic growth, the oil price and the creditworthiness of some companies. Still, its base case scenario anticipates a limited impact for now.

“Given the importance of the Chinese economy to global economic activity, S&P Global Ratings expects recent developments could weigh on growth prospects in the GCC, already affected by low oil prices and geopolitical uncertainty,” it said in a report.

Although the rate of spread and timing of the peak of the new coronavirus is still uncertain, S&P said that modeling by epidemiologists indicated a likely range for the peak of between late-February and June.

Notwithstanding the spread of the virus, S&P expects oil prices to remain at $60 per barrel in 2020 and decline to $55 from 2021.

It sees the biggest potential impact on regional economies to be felt in terms of export volumes. S&P estimates that GCC countries send between 4 percent and 45 percent of their exported goods to China, with Oman being the most exposed (45.1 percent) and the UAE the least exposed (4.2 percent).

Beyond the trade of goods, the Gulf’s hospitality sector could also feel the effect of reduced tourist arrivals with hotels and shopping malls likely to suffer. The impact could be further amplified because of the high-spending nature of Chinese tourists.

On-location spending by Chinese tourists is the fourth largest in the world at $3,064 per person, according to Nielsen data. About 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited the GCC in 2018 with expectations of that figure rising to 2.2 million in 2023, and with the UAE as the main destination.

Chinese passengers also accounted for 3.9 percent of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport in 2018.

S&P said that if the effect of the new coronavirus is felt beyond March, the number of visitors to Expo 2020 in Dubai could be lower than expected.

The ratings agency expects the impact on the banking sector to be low, with little direct exposure to Chinese companies.