Next faces 30 million pound equal pay claim

London - Next is the first fashion retailer to face an equal pay claim, as thousands of mostly female store staff are demanding up to 30 million pounds in back pay from the high street retailer.

Over 300 store workers registered to participate in the claim which was filed at the conciliation service Acas on Wednesday, which stated they are paid 7.50 pounds an hour - an average of 2 pounds less than the mostly male warehouse workers. Next's store-floor staff view their work as equal value to that of the warehouse workers, who also have access to more lucrative bonuses.

The average salary loss for the group of store staff is estimated to be at 6,000 pounds and between 3,000 to 5,000 workers are likely to sign up to the group claim, taking it up to 30 million pounds. At the moment Next employs approximately 45,000 people across the UK - 30,000 of which are women working in its stores.

lawyer representing next store assistants argue that the predominantly female staff carry out similarly demanding tasks as those carried by warehouse workers but on average receive percent less than their counterparts. elizabeth george head of employment at law firm pattinson brewer which is claimants noted shop floor work traditionally

“There really aren’t many simpler legal concepts to grasp than this one – staff doing comparable jobs should be paid the same amount," said George in a statement. "But when you look across every work sector, you will see work, that is traditionally viewed as women’s work, being undervalued. The physical and mental demands on the shop floor are no less than those in the warehouses. The only thing of less substance is the minimum wage being given to our clients."

FashionUnited has reached out to Next for its response to the claim.

Photo: Next, Manchester