BBC pay – Mind the Gender Pay Gap

On the radio this morning, Chris Evans in response to the backlash regarding the publication of the salaries of BBC stars said he is carrying out work and being paid according to his contract which is true and ultimately the press attention should be directed to the BBC not Mr Evans for creating this disparity.

It is over 40 years since the Equal Pay Act came into force and this was designed to redress the balance where employers were openly giving different rates of pay to men and women doing the same job.  While there have been steps to improve the gender pay gap these figures show that there may be a way to go.

The BBC may face problems with potential discrimination and/or equal pay claims if the published salaries show that a female presenter doing the same job is being paid less than a male presenter.

The BBC is considering asking male presenters to take a pay cut but this would have to be with the male presenters’ agreement and if they unilaterally change their contract without agreement then they could face legal claims from the male presenters as well so it is a situation which has to be carefully handled.

It is a lesson for business to look at the salaries of men and women doing the same job and make sure that there is no obvious disparity because if there is this could lead to potential claims which can be costly for any company. Under the Equality Act it is also compulsory for  companies with more than 250 employees to publish certain data on gender salary differences.

It will be interesting to see how the BBC female presenters react, successful claims can require payment of arrears of back pay for up to 6 years. In addition to this, equal pay claims do not have to just cover pay but also other contractual and even non-contractual benefits such as discretionary bonuses.

This issue is likely to continue on.

 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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Jane Crosby

Partner, Dispute Resolution

Jane is an employment and commercial litigation solicitor of more than 15 years' experience. Prior to entering the legal profession, Jane was employed in the...

Partner, Dispute Resolution

Jane Crosby

Jane is an employment and commercial litigation solicitor of more than 15 years' experience.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Jane was employed in the aviation industry. This experience is appreciated by many of Jane's clients who note that she is able to take a commercial and pragmatic approach to any legal issue that they face.

Jane acts for a wide range of individuals and businesses and her areas of specialism include aviation, property related industries and IT. Jane regularly advises on aspects of employment law, such as settlement agreements, employment contracts, policies and procedures, redundancies, equal pay, data protection, issues arising from TUPE and reorganisations, the calculation of holiday pay, bonus and commission payments, disciplinary and grievance issues, dismissal and termination issues, the protection of confidential information and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Jane gets involved in GDPR training for her clients and she is able to deliver tailored employment law training sessions upon request.

As a commercial litigation lawyer, Jane also deals in shareholder and directors disputes, commercial contract disputes and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Jane has been involved in successful high value commercial litigation for clients in the High Courts, she is an accredited mediator and she is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Jane is often asked to write for a number of well known publications, including The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Week and she has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4.

Here is small selection of the feedback that Jane has received:

“Jane, I cannot sincerely thank you enough for your wise counsel and am delighted to have made your acquaintance. If I am blessed with a new position somewhere I will hand over my contract in the first instance to you. Likewise, any of my friends, peers, romans and countrymen wanting advice, I will point them in your direction.”

“Jane, you have been most resilient on my behalf for which I sincerely thank you for all your endeavours. I have a tremendous working relationship with Hart Brown and you have undoubtedly compounded this further."

“I appreciated the clarity of advice given at a stressful time”.

“A sensitive and highly professional approach and efficient work in the interests of the client”.

“Your advice, conduct and assistance have been indeed outstanding and very professional but also – and most importantly – very humane”.

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