Trade union USDAW said it was still waiting for the High Court to rule on its case against Tesco after the supermarket giant attempted to “fire and rehire” staff at three distribution centres.

Despite proceedings being issued by solicitors on behalf of the union in March 2021, a judgment on Tesco’s attempts to change staff contracts in Daventry and Litchfield has yet to be made.

Last month, Tesco transport director Matt Rhind told an influential group of MPs that it had been in conversations with USDAW about “retained pay and a move to buy colleagues out of terms and conditions”.

Rhind was responding to questions from the transport select committee, which wanted to know what percentage of Tesco’s driving workforce was directly employed and what percentage was engaged through an agency or another arrangement.

He said: “Circa 21% of our workforce are what we could call contractors or agency drivers, which means that the remaining 79% are Tesco.”

West Dorset MP Chris Loder asked the transport director to confirm whether Tesco was making logistics employees redundant to encourage a move towards agency working and if this was an appropriate strategy amid a driver shortage.

Rhind responded: “We have been working on something called retained pay and a move to buy colleagues out of terms and conditions.

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“That has now gone to the High Court for judgment. At this point in time, I await the outcome to be able to comment on it further.”

Last year, USDAW claimed 74 Tesco workers were at risk of having their terms “slashed” via a fire and rehire process.

National officer Joanne McGuinness said it had won a similar case in the Scottish courts and it hoped to do the same south of the border.

An USDAW spokesman told this week: “We are still waiting for a verdict.

“While it continues to go on, Tesco has agreed not to make any changes until the result of legal proceedings has come through, so members are still getting what we believe they are entitled to.”

Asked to comment, a Tesco spokesman said: “A very small number of colleagues in our distribution network receive a supplement to their pay which was offered a number of years ago as an incentive to retain colleagues.

“Today, we have over 16,000 colleagues working in distribution, of which the vast majority do not receive this top up, so we have taken the decision to phase it out.”