BBC cleared of all pay discrimination cases

18 November 2020

Following an investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, it has been confirmed that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been cleared of all pay discrimination cases that have been filed by employees.

In March 2019, an investigation was launched into 40 pay complaints, out of a total of 1,000 submitted by employees of the BBC from 1 January 2016 onwards. As part of the investigation, the systems and processes utilised by the BBC to pay staff were assessed.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission determined that in the cases that were examined, there was no evidence of unlawful pay discrimination. The commission did confirm, however, that the BBC should work to build trust and transparency among female employees.

Back in January 2020, Sarah Montague who presents on Radio four, announced that she had received a £400,000 settlement and an apology from the BBC, due to the fact that she received less pay than her male equivalents. Samira Ahmed, a television presenter, also won an employment tribunal case against the BBC, in relation to the fact that she was paid six times less than Jeremy Vine for a similar presenting role on Points of View.

Employee Benefits reported that the interim chairman at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Caroline Waters, said:

 “This investigation was prompted by public concern about pay inequality between men and women employed by the BBC. We did not find unlawful pay discrimination in the cases we analysed during our investigation. However, we did identify themes relating to past pay practices that could give rise to a risk of pay discrimination. 

While this investigation considered possible pay discrimination by one major employer in the UK, equal pay must be a priority for all employers. For too long the effects of pay inequality have been seriously damaging for women and for organisations. Much more proactive effort is needed to eliminate unfairness, adopt objective and transparent pay systems, and establish a culture of trust, honesty and accountability.”


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