BBC Gender Pay Gap Sparks Outrage

We Hope it will Lead to More People Using the Existing Law to Challenge this Clear Discrimination

The government was initially met with opposition from the BBC when they requested the company to publish their top earners as part of the governments new 11-year royal charter. Whilst this may have been in part about the confidentiality of an individual’s pay, it is not surprising that the BBC were keen to keep this information behind closed doors as it exposes the enormous gender pay gap amongst the BBC’s 96 top earners.

Topping the list is Chris Evans earning 2.2 million and Gary Lineker following suit with a reported earning of 1.75-1.8 million. The highest female earner on the list was Claudia Winkleman who earns significantly less than her male co-workers earning between £450,000 to £499,999. Emily Maitlis whilst being named Broadcast Journalist of the Year 2017 did not even make the list as she earns less than £150,000. Emily’s agent Alex Armitage tweeted ‘beyond madness and being dealt with’ in response to the shocking list which showed that her co-presenter Evan Davis was earning between £250,000-£299,999.

Many people have been left infuriated by the slow level of progression for equal pay between men and women. Jane Garvey a BBC News Presenter who did not make it onto the list of employees earning over £150,000 expressed her dismay tweeting, ‘’I’m looking forward to presenting BBC Woman’s Hour today. We’ll be discussing #genderpaygap. As we’ve done since 1946. Going well, isn’t it?’’.

Whilst it has been nearly 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1970, there are some progressive signs for equal pay. Just in the last 5 years there has been the first of many high-profile equal pay claims being made against large corporations for workers earning lower wages, despite doing jobs of equal value. Leigh Day, a human rights and employment solicitors have worked in partnership with Pay Justice to represent over 40,000 ASDA claimants for equal pay. Pay Justice have also been involved in enabling hundreds of other cases against Sainsburys and Two Sisters Food Group.

It is anticipated that the BBC will face numerous sexual discrimination lawsuits, and at the very least the BBC female staff will be demanding a pay rise to match their male counterparts. Yet to be uncovered is how many of the other 43 thousand staff at the BBC could be facing discriminative pay.
Earlier this year the government made it compulsory for companies to publish their equal pay reports. These reports outline the difference in pay between men and women throughout the organisation. The report has already revealed that TSB Bank have a staggering 31% gender pay gap between men and women, much higher than it would appear to be at the BBC.
The law is complex and we recommend legal representation by experts but we hope that women at the BBC are not just angered by what this data clearly shows, but that they also utilise the law to get pay rises and importantly back pay of up to 6 years.

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