BBC to Payout after TV Presenter Wins Sex Discrimination Case

13th January 2020

Employment Law Solicitors at Simpson Millar view the Employment Tribunal judgment as a welcome but expected outcome, amidst rising calls for equal pay within the workplace.

This judgment comes about following a hearing that concluded in November of last year. While being a great win for Samira Ahmed, this case sets an important precedent for women and employers going forward in the future. What this means for other BBC staff who are bringing similar claims, is yet to be seen, as the BBC does still have the right to appeal this judgment.

While the BBC argued that the division wasn’t one of gender but of the differences between the internal divisional silos of news and entertainment there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the startling difference in pay between Newswatch presenter Samira Ahmed and BBC Points of View host, Jeremy Vine.

Jeremy was paid £3,000 per episode for BBC’s Points of View between 2008 and 2018 while Samira was paid less than a sixth of that amount at only £440 per episode for Newswatch. This means for every episode that Samira did she came to a loss of £2,560 per episode for which the BBC now owe her nearly £700,000.

Harpreet Singh Thiara, one of Simpson Millar’s Employment Law paralegals said, “It’s unsurprising that the Tribunal came to this judgment as Samira had obviously strong grounds of complaint, and the BBC failed to make a compelling argument that the difference in pay was due to a material factor that did not amount to sex discrimination”.

“As it stands, this judgment is an important stepping stone for women’s employment rights going forward in the future and, unfortunately, Samira’s case will not be the last. This case has undoubtedly acted as a catalyst for similar claims, as it is reported that the BBC is facing in excess of 100 similar cases. Hopefully, this judgment will encourage more women to step forward and we are likely to see more cases like this coming about now.”

For more information see Equal Pay Claims.

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