What in buggery does value have to do with it?

Shop workers at Next have won the first stage in a fight for equal pay that could lead to a payout of up to £100m.

More than 400 mainly female workers in the fashion and homewares retailer’s stores say they are paid between £2 and £6 an hour less than the company’s mainly male warehouse workers, whom they view as doing work of equal value. They also claim the warehouse staff have access to more lucrative bonuses.

Next has conceded that the two types of role can be compared, the first stage in a three-step process for equal pay claims.

If you want the higher wages go work in the warehouse then.

18 thoughts on “What in buggery does value have to do with it?”

  1. Next has conceded that the two types of role can be compared,

    Well, more fool them then. They deserve everything they get.

  2. “go work in the warehouse then”

    I’ve cracked it! You lapse into American vernacular when you want to sound crude and abrasive. Subtle stuff, Mr Tim.

  3. I wonder what the accident at work comparison is between warehouse and working on the till.

    As the Baron says above, more fool Next.

  4. There’s a legal subtlety here.

    The agreement, admission is “It is possible to compare these two”. The next step is “It is reasonable to compare these two, rational, they are comparable”. Which is a legal decision for the tribunal – I think?

  5. I’ve worked in both, and there isn’t a comparison. I reckon when I worked in a record shop that around 50% of my time was doing nothing. You get a few customers first thing in the morning, a load of customers at lunchtime, and then some after 5pm. Saturdays are rammed. There’s a few other things, like putting new stock out and keeping shelves tidy, but there’s a lot of hours per week doing nothing.

    Go into a high street shop at 10am on a weekday and see how few people are in there.

    People in the warehouses work all day. They aren’t waiting for things to happen, as soon as they arrive there’s a queue of things to pick. If the queue was getting emptied regularly, management would start getting rid of people.

  6. ‘… mainly female workers…’

    Mainly, so not all. Therefore it is not sex discrimination as is being implied.

    And if they win their case = fewer shop workers.

    There is no learning curve.

  7. @:John B

    Next moves to online sales only

    No shop workers
    Huge savings on expensive retail property
    Shareholders smile, warehouse workers get even more bonuses
    Shop workers look for new jobs

    Darwin award?

  8. The retail staff view the warehouse work as being of equal value. If so, go and do warehouse work.
    Do the warehouse staff view the retail work as being of equal value? If so, give up the backbreaking slog and go and do retail work.

    If they’re not being encouraged to do warehouse work by being rewarded somehow more than other work, then why bother doing it, do the other job that has equal reward. “I want you to work in this pile of shit, but I’ll pay you the same as working in a nice warm office.” Ok, I’ll go for the office job.

  9. Wasn’t there a precedent set for this, where the birds won their case that eight hours gossiping was the same as eight hours humping boxes?

  10. Not all one way traffic. Front of house needs to spend time being presentable, dealing with humans, etc.

  11. ……a barrister in the employment team at law firm Leigh Day, which is leading the Next case.

    A firms gotta move with the times (now the Iraq compensation game is over).

  12. You mean the warehouse that has you run around all day as efficiently as possible, lift Heavy Things, deal with heavy equipment, and nowadays generally a JIT principle that has you do overtime “because stuff came in late” ?
    As opposed to Looking Pretty in a shop front?

    Yeaaaahhhh… I can see where thay are “equivalent”?

    Disclaimer: I’ve done 30+ odd jobs at various levels in “distribution”, so I have ,of course, no idea what “logistics” entails.
    I have to admit that some of them were good, paid, alternatives to a subscription to a “Gym”.

  13. This does remind me of the young lady who was whinging that she wasn’t eligible for promotion because she hadn’t served in the infantry, armour or artillery.

    But I think I’ve mentioned her before.

    Perhaps I should be mentioning instead the argument that a majority of Afghans don’t want the Taliban to rule, if you count the women. If you count the majority who have guns and want to go out and kill people, I’d say you’d get a different figure.

  14. More than 400 mainly female workers in the fashion and homewares retailer’s stores say they are paid between £2 and £6 an hour less than the company’s mainly male warehouse workers, whom they view as doing work of equal value.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall when, having lost this case, the Next management tell all their till dollies that their contracts are now being amended to include warehouse work as and when required.

  15. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    “The retail staff view the warehouse work as being of equal value. If so, go and do warehouse work.
    Do the warehouse staff view the retail work as being of equal value? If so, give up the backbreaking slog and go and do retail work.”

    Oh no we can’t, we all wail! For the warehouse be in Pontypantypriddyllangewethllerylen. So it is also ethnic diskrimunashn!

  16. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    “I have to admit that some of them were good, paid, alternatives to a subscription to a “Gym””

    One of my biggest regrets in life (the story will make it clear I don’t have many and those I do have are not big), is that, during a brief period of unemployment, I did not wander over to the building site opposite my house and asking for a cash in hand job.

  17. @ BiNK(Gp)
    One of the things I learned as a Consultant working in “Transition Economies” was that Russian only has one word for “Value” and “Price” which, in part, accounts for their disastrous economics.
    In the nine months between the entrance exam and starting university I worked as a computer programmer, one of my colleagues (who got an Exhibition) got a job working for a contractor building a motorway near his home: his wage was 250% of my salary and he earned (yes, earned) enough in those nine months to cover his expenses for the whole of his first year. Any regulation-imposed comparison would have demanded that I get paid more for my more intellectual albeit more comfortable job. Pay *normally* relates to the value of the job to the employer until a union gets involved.

  18. This is not as bad as the judge who thought that cleaning offices should get the same money as cleaning the streets. He should have been made to do a week’s work cleaning the streets in the rain.

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