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12th March 2019

Equality regulator opens investigation into BBC over equal pay

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An investigation has been launched today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into suspected past pay discrimination against women at the BBC.

Following complaints that female employees were not being paid equally with men, the EHRC has been in discussions with the BBC about staff pay for the past year. The BBC has voluntarily provided a large amount of information about its pay policies and its programme of reform, which includes changes to terms and conditions and pay practices.

Having reviewed all of the information received to date, the EHRC suspects that some women at the organisation have not received equal pay for equal work. It has therefore used its powers under the Equality Act to open an investigation which will relate to the BBC’s historic policy and pay practices.

The investigation will examine formal and informal pay grievances raised with the BBC by staff to determine if there has been unlawful pay discrimination and whether grievances have been adequately resolved.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive at the Equality & Human Rights Commission, said: “Paying men and women the same salary for the same job has been a legal requirement for almost 50 years. Every organisation should know we are fully committed to ensuring employers comply with equal pay law. Employers today should be doing as much as they can do to ensure all their staff enjoy a working environment that allows them to achieve their full potential.”

The full terms of reference are available on EHRC’s website. The EHRC will publish a report once it has concluded its investigation, setting out its findings, any action it has taken and recommendations for the BBC.