Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LON:MRW) is facing an equal pay claim which could cost it an estimated £1 billion if successful, the Guardian has reported. The news comes after it emerged that FTSE 100 peer Tesco (LON:TSCO) is facing a demand for up to £4 billion in back pay from thousands of mainly female shopworkers.
Morrisons’ share price has climbed higher in London in today’s session, having added 0.34 percent to 268.05p as of 09:45 BST. The stock is marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.11 percent higher at 7,281.84 points. The group’s shares have added nearly 12 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 1.6-percent dip in the Footsie.
Morrisons faces equal pay claim
The Guardian reported last night that law firm Leigh Day had said it was seeking compensation for Morrisons shop workers – predominantly women – who believe they are paid less than the mostly male workers in the blue-chip grocer’s warehouses. The law firm said that while it would lodge a claim with the employment tribunal service next week on behalf of eight shop workers, around 80,000 employees could be eligible to claim back pay totalling more than £1 billion.
The newspaper quoted a spokesperson for the blue-chip grocer as saying that the company was “not aware of any court proceedings issued by a third party”.
“We have received a letter asking us a number of questions about our pay policies. Our aim is to pay our colleagues fairly and equally for the job that they do, irrespective of their gender,” the spokesperson pointed out.
Analysts on blue-chip supermarket
The 14 analysts offering 12-month price targets for Morrisons for the Financial Times have a median target of 252.50p on the shares, with a high estimate of 300.00p and a low estimate of 195.00p. As of September 9, the consensus forecast amongst 19 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip supermarket advises investors to hold their position in the company.