Tesco Stores Ltd

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Applicable law/instrument :

Article 157 TFEU

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In this case, the CJEU was requested to clarify whether Article 157 TFEU can be interpreted as having direct effect in proceedings between individuals in which failure to observe the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for ‘work of equal value’, as referred to in that article, is pleaded.

The CJEU maintained that the principle, laid down in Article 157 TFEU, of equal pay for male and female workers can be relied upon directly, in respect both of ‘equal work’ and of ‘work of equal value’, in proceedings between individuals. The precision and clarity of the wording of the Article ensure that these provisions can be relied on directly.
The CJEU further established that, once it is confirmed that the employer constitutes a single source for setting pay, the provisions of Article 157 TFEU may be relied upon directly by workers in different establishments of the same employer. [Para. 36].

Concluding, the CJEU confirmed that equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value is a founding element of the European Union, recalling both the TEU (Art. 3(3)) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Art. 23). [Para. 34].

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