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Victory over BBC equal gender pay claim

View profile for Amy Dutton
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Employers obligations regarding gender pay gap reporting

It has been recently reported that the TV Presenter of Newswatch, Samira Ahmed, has argued with the BBC that her pay should have been on an equal footing with that of her fellow colleague, Jeremy Vine, TV Presenter of Points of View and had pursued the matter to an employment tribunal.

It is reported that Ms Ahmed was receiving £440 per episode, whilst Mr Vine was receiving £3,000 per episode.

On 10 January 2020, the London Central Employment Tribunal ruled that the BBC had, “failed to rebut the presumption of sex discrimination that arose when she provided that her work was like his work”. It was ultimately ruled that the work by Ms Ahmed was of, “equal value”, to that of her fellow colleague, Mr Vine.

The BBC reportedly argued in their defence that Mr Vine was paid more than Ms Ahmed because he had a greater status and that presenting his programme required more work. However it is reported that it was considered that the BBC failed to establish various factors in support of this aspect of their defence, such as the profile of both programmes, the profile of said presenters, and their broadcasting experience.

Whilst a spokesperson for the BBC confirmed that they were, “committed to equality and equal pay… this case was about the way different types of programmes across the media industry attract different levels of pay. We have always believed that the pay of Samira and Jeremy was not determined by their gender. Presenters – female as well as male – had always been paid more on Points of View than Newswatch”, Ms Ahmed’s claim for equal pay to that of her fellow colleague Mr Vine, was successful at tribunal.

It is unlawful to discriminate against a male or female because of their gender. The protection afforded by the Equality Act 2010 applies during every stage of an employer/employee relationship, starting from the advertisement of a vacancy up to dismissal. This protection also extends to discrimination in the course of an individual’s day to day life as a consumer or service user.

To establish sex discrimination, it is necessary to prove that an individual has been put at a detriment, of suffered unfavourable treatment, because of their sex/gender. Claims of this nature from an employer/employee perspective can be brought in the employment tribunal. Alternatively, if an individual has suffered such unfavourable treatment outside of the remit of employment, such as in their day-to-day life, the claim can be pursued in the County Court.

Should you feel that you have been discriminated against, please do not hesitate to contact the discrimination and employment team here at Stephensons in order to explore the advice and assistance which may be available to you in your circumstances. Call us on 01616 966 229.