2 Sisters could face £1M+ bill in equal pay dispute

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

2 Sisters has confirmed receipt of a written grievance on behalf of 57 employees
2 Sisters has confirmed receipt of a written grievance on behalf of 57 employees
2 Sisters Food Group could pay compensation of more than £1M if an equal pay claim lodged by law firm Leigh Day proves successful.

The solicitors have applied for a tribunal hearing on behalf of 57 female former employees of 2 Sisters’ Haughley Park site in East Anglia, which was closed in November last year. In addition, a letter of formal grievance has been lodged with the UK food giant.

The workers argue the company paid them less than men in equivalent roles and could claim up to six years of backdated pay to make up the difference, Leigh Day told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

Despite the clients being low-paid workers, most had worked for 2 Sisters for more than six years, so could gain tens of thousands of pounds in compensation under the Equal Pay Act 1970. The total figure could amount to more than £1M, Leigh Day said.

Similar complaints

In addition, Leigh Day solicitor Michael Newman said the firm had been in contact with staff at other 2 Sisters sites with similar complaints.

Newman said Leigh Day was waiting to see if the Haughley Park case was successful before considering taking up other cases. “If successful we have got other enquiries from other people at 2 Sisters – all equal pay claims.”

Newman said he was confident the Haughley Park case would be successful, but stressed it could take more than a year to resolve.

2 Sisters would have received notification of the tribunal claim at some point this week, said Newman. It would then have 28 days to respond.

Leigh Day was scheduled to hold a grievance meeting with 2 Sisters early next month, he said. He expected 2 Sisters to initially respond by rejecting the claim, as often happened in such cases.

Unusual

Newman said it was unusual to represent such a large group of claimants outside of the public sector without strong union involvement. No such involvement had been the case with the Haughley Park site.

However, he added: “We have approached the unions, told them what we are doing and have said we are quite happy to work with them.”

A spokeswoman for 2 Sisters confirmed: “We have received a written grievance and are reviewing the contents. It is not appropriate to comment more at this stage.”

Leigh Day acted on the prompting of claims management firm Pay Justice, which had fielded the initial complaints from 2 Sisters workers.

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1 comment

employee

Posted by lee potter,

i worked at the two sisters when it was rannoch so i worked there from going back before year 1998 i packed in 2010 after having a weeks holiday and i find that some body taken my job over and i got put on the packing line and i got told if i do not wont to do that i can get out so i did come 2011 after fulling in very ill and did start another food factory then fell very ill and fet like doing away with life it seems like me my eyes two sisters did not like the english people to work there iam please to be free to come and see you at any time and i would love to bring some people a long to who use to work there that was so sad it had to close but if they done the factory up when it was taken over from rannochs and came two sisters it may be still open today.

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