The Guardian view on BBC pay: no more excuses

by Susie Olson February 1, 2018, 0:52
The Guardian view on BBC pay: no more excuses

It also planned to introduce a £320,000 cap on presenters' salaries, as well as increased pay for some men and women.

The U.K. pubcaster has faced a barrage of criticism since publishing the salaries of its top earning on-air talent last June, a move it had resisted and which revealed wide-ranging disparities between male and female talent.

"These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience".

Most of the BBC's women employees have stopped short of pillorying their employer publicly but they would be fully entitled to do so given the corporation's response to their quite reasonable demands for equal pay.

Lord Hall told Channel 4 News: "I don't believe there has been illegality in the BBC to the point where someone said, 'You're a woman therefore you're going to be paid less'".

The source added: "Tomorrow, people will see our desire to take a leadership role on the issue of pay equality for the future".

But today a review commissioned by the BBC found that there has been "no gender bias" in decision making about, although there were some anomalies.

Factors cited by management such as audience recognition could not justify differences in pay, a report by a group representing women at the BBC said.

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There is frustration at senior levels of the that other organisations who are obliged to publish their own gender pay gap seem to be dragging their heels. Britain's BBC could be doomed unless it makes radical changes, the head of its governing trust said on Sunday, after its director general quit to take the blame for the airing of false child sex abuse allegations against a former politician. The BBC - uniquely, among large employers - has already pledged to close its gender pay gap by 2020 and to seek equal representation across its airwaves on the same timescale.

It remains unclear if on-air staff will be able to earn more from other work at the BBC, including entertainment shows across radio and TV.

She added that pay discrepancies may be present across the industry in different forms. It said it has already addressed 230 cases of pay unfairness. "I am told that we are now being paid at the same rate per day, but there is no transparency".

"The BBC is committed to equal pay, and we don't accept the assertion we have not been complying with the Equality Act, nor do we offer inferior contracts based on someone's gender or race".

The chair of the Commons select committee, Tory MP Damian Collins, released a statement suggesting the BBC had a "cultural problem" on its hands with regards to the way it pays women.

Equality can not be dependent on somebody else 'doing the right thing.' Women are either entitled to equal pay, equal rights, and equal treatment or else we remain dependent members of society.

The hearing is likely to be uncomfortable for the BBC, as it is scheduled to include testimony from Carrie Gracie, the China editor who resigned the post in protest after learning her male counterparts doing the same job earned much more.


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