Fury after top BBC journalist quits over pay scandal

  • Fury after top BBC journalist quits over pay scandal

Fury after top BBC journalist quits over pay scandal

A BBC spokesperson said the corporation was just reinforcing its pre-existing guidelines, which read: "We need to ensure the BBC's impartiality is not brought into question and presenters or reporters are not exposed to potential conflicts of interest".

Scores of female BBC employees chimed in too.

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The UK's equality watchdog is to write to the BBC following the resignation of its former China editor Carrie Gracie amid claims of pay inequality.

'For example, I think it often seems compelling to upgrade a man's pay for "comparability" reasons, while an equivalent anomaly affecting a woman may feel more tolerable.

The BBC did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday night but in a statement to BBC News, a spokeswoman, citing a salary audit, said there was "no systemic discrimination against women" and that "a significant number of organizations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better". She said she was not seeking more money for herself, but only demanding that the BBC observe British law requiring equal pay for equal work.

Confused? Well it was just the latest baffling broadcasting move by the BBC who earlier on Monday had Gracie presenting the Today programme on Radio 4 just hours after announcing her resignation... and could not directly discuss the story with co-presenter John Humphrys.

She added: "I told my bosses the only acceptable resolution would be for all the global editors to be paid the same amount".

But the actual application of these guidelines was raising questions by Monday afternoon after BBC TV host Simon McCoy interviewed employment lawyer Jennifer Millins about the Carrie Gracie story on the BBC News channel. This is largely because women in the NHS dominate lower-paid roles such as catering assistant, health care support worker, domestic assistant and other clinical support staff.

BBC staff were warned they could not report on Miss Gracie's pay row if they had backed her publicly.

Referring to the revelation that two-thirds of BBC presenters earning more than £150,000 were male, Gracie added: 'Women saw hard evidence of what they'd long suspected, that they are not being valued equally'.

It is believed that up to 200 women at the BBC have made a formal complaint about pay. Trust me, I don't believe that's fair.

In fact, the only BBC women who can be sure they do not suffer pay discrimination are senior managers whose salaries are published. Elsewhere, pay secrecy makes BBC women as vulnerable as they are in many other workplaces.

"To avoid wasting your licence fee on an unwinnable court fight against female staff, the BBC should immediately agree to independent arbitration to settle individual cases". I hope rival news organisations will not use this letter as a stick with which to beat the BBC, but instead reflect on their own equality issues. But majority are brilliant young women.

With top law firms now advising women who work at a senior level within organisations, it might be possible that the first wave of discriminative legal action is seen before the April deadline.

Comedian Susan Calman, who recently featured on Strictly Come Dancing, tweeted, "Many things in this life are complicated, but the concept of Equal Pay for Equal work isn't one of them. Let us honour that fearless generation by making this the year we win equal pay".