By Jonathan Davies

Asda is facing mass legal action by its female employees over equal pay.

The action is coming from women who work in Asda distribution warehouses. They are accusing Asda of paying their male colleagues more, despite the jobs being of "equivalent value".

It is believed to be the largest legal action of its kind, and could lead to huge payouts and huge ramifications for the sector and how retailers pay their staff in various departments of the business.

It is understood that more than 10,000 Asda employees have at least expressed interested in the joining the case. More than 1,000 employment tribunal claims have already been made.

Lauren Lougheed, a solicitor at Leigh Day, the firm handling the case, said the difference in pay between shop and warehouse could be as much as £4 per hour.

She believes that if the claims are successful, female employees could receive as much as six years worth of back pay.

Asda strongly defended it's policy, stressing that it does not discriminate.

An spokesperson for the supermarket giant said: "A firm of no win, no fee lawyers are hoping to challenge our award-winning reputation as an equal opportunities employer. We do not discriminate and are very proud of our record in this area which, if it comes to it, we will robustly defend."

The subject of equal pay for women has been a hot one recently, especially in the last few weeks. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella suggested that women in the tech industry should not ask for a pay rise, but should instead have faith 'in the system' to provide equal pay.

That prompted huge outcry from female business leaders and was given further prominence when it was revealed that Nadella would receive an $84m pay package from Microsoft.

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