Monday 9 December 2019

BBC to propose new pay framework for presenters following gender pay row

The BBC will say it is putting ‘right the shortcomings of the past’.

BBC Director General Tony Hall is to appear before a committee over the pay issue (Lewis Whyld/PA)
BBC Director General Tony Hall is to appear before a committee over the pay issue (Lewis Whyld/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The BBC is announcing “a significant overhaul” of how it manages on-air pay –  as it accepts that it has “got some presenters’ pay wrong”.

The broadcaster is preparing to publish, on Tuesday, a long-awaited review into pay arrangements for on-air presenters, editors and correspondents.

A BBC source said that the broadcaster will propose a new, “fair” framework, “informed by data and analysis”, replacing its old pay model for presenters.

It comes after the BBC’s list of its biggest earners, topped by Radio 2’s Chris Evans on more than £2 million, revealed a gap in the earnings of its best-known male and female stars.

Chris Evans (Nick Ansell/PA)

Following complaints about opaque pay arrangements at the licence fee-funded broadcaster, the BBC will say, in comments published alongside the pay report, that the new structure will have “transparency at its heart”.

It  “will enable presenters to know where they stand and ensure they have knowledge about their pay relative to others.”

But the corporation will also state that, while accepting that it has “got some presenters’ pay wrong”, it does not believe that there are problems at all levels of the broadcaster.

Male as well as female staff have raised issues about their pay, and the BBC will say “we are working hard to address these”.

“There is a watershed moment on women’s equality and treatment that is taking place across society, across the world, and at all levels and in all industries,” the source said.

“The BBC is acting. We believe we are at the vanguard of wider change. Tomorrow people will see our desire to take a leadership role on these very important issues.”

Presenters will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals which will also be reviewed at the final stage by a QC.

The BBC has pledged to close its gender pay gap by 2020.

Huw Edwards (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Last week, it was announced that BBC broadcasters John Humphrys, Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine reduced their salaries.

The BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her role in protest at inequalities.

Gracie and BBC director-general Tony Hall will appear in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Wednesday.

PA Media

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