A review into the pay structure at the BBC has found that there is no gender bias in relation to pay decisions at the corporation. The report, conducted by auditors PwC, was published last week and found a 6.8% gender pay gap among on-air staff.
The gender pay gap identified within the on-air staff was lower than the overall pay gap within the BBC which was 9.3% compared with the UK average which sat at 18%. The report comes on the back of a huge outcry and a lot of negative publicity for the BBC following the release of the corporation’s annual report last year.
The figures from last year’s annual report
Last year’s report revealed that Chris Evans was the best paid star, earning between £2.2m and £2.25m in 2016/2017. Other top earners included Match of the Day frontman Gary Lineker who was on £1.75m – £1.8m; while the best paid female celebrity was Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman, who made between £450,000 and £500,000. About two-thirds of those earning more than £150,000 were male, compared to one-third female. 25 men on the list of stars were paid more than £250,000, compared to just 9 women.
The BBC Director General Tony Hall, while quick to highlight that the latest report “does not find evidence of gender bias in decision-making,” stated that the BBC was determined to take steps to modernise and become a fair employer with the goal of closing the gender pay gap and have women in half of the on-air roles by 2020.
The report also found that news correspondent jobs were roles in which there was massive under-representation of women and in the top pay brackets there was “a small number of individuals, mainly men, who are paid very highly”. However, PwC stated that in relation to the disparities, there were “logical and non-gender related reasons” for the pay gap.
The BBC has said that there will be substantial pay cuts for some men as well as pay rises for some men and women. Jeremy Vine, Huw Edwards and Nicky Campbell are among a handful of leading male stars who have agreed to take a reduction in salary. The corporation will also review the progression of women in the organisation, looking at working practices and support for women returning to work.
Gender pay gap reporting legislation, which came into force last year, requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees. The deadline to report is 4 April 2018 (or 30 March 2018 for public sector employers). No doubt, the issue of the gender pay gap is likely to continue to make headlines as we move into the spring.
The CIPD are holding a Gender Pay Gap Conference in London next month. Click here for more information.
Summarised from article on BBC News website.