BBC finds 'no evidence of gender bias in pay'

30 January 2018, 10:26

The BBC has published a review of on-air pay which finds "no evidence of gender bias in pay decision making".

The report, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), comes as a response to complaints by more than 150 women working at the public broadcaster.

The group told MPs they faced "veiled threats" while trying to raise the subject of equal pay at the BBC.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the BBC said that, while there was no evidence of gender bias, they had identified "a number of issues in relation to pay" which "resulted in anomalies that need addressing".

The corporation said it would make "substantial pay cuts for some men" on air.

"The BBC believes in equality," said director-general Tony Hall.

"No one should be paid differently because of their gender. The BBC has a special role representing Britain. That is why we need to be, and want to be, an exemplar on gender pay, and equal pay."

Members of the BBC Women group have already said they have "no confidence" in the review and that they have been "excluded from the process".

The BBC has been embroiled in controversy over its gender pay gap since a list of its biggest earners, topped by Radio 2's Chris Evans on more than £2m, revealed a gap in the pay of its top male and female stars.

Earlier this month, China editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her role in protest at inequalities.

A group of MPs at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee (DCMS), which will question the BBC on Wednesday, have found evidence that the broadcaster has a "deeper cultural problem" than the gap revealed in last year's earnings list.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has entered into grievance procedures with the BBC, relating to more than 120 separate cases ranging from pay disparities on the grounds of race and gender to discrimination against women returning after maternity leave.

Chair of DCMS Damian Collins said: "It is clear that the BBC still has a big problem in terms of gender pay."

The BBC has proposed a £320,000 cap on its news presenters' salaries after an outcry over gender pay inequality.