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Presenter Samira Ahmed has won her Employment Tribunal claim against the BBC in a dispute over equal pay. 

Ahmed argued that she was underpaid in comparison to fellow male presenter, Jeremy Vine whilst they were both presenting similar programmes. 

Between 2008 and 2018 Vine was paid £3,000 per episode of Points of View shown on BBC One, whilst Ahmed was paid a mere £400 per episode for Newswatch which was shown on BBC Breakfast and the BBC News Channel. 

The onus was on the BBC to demonstrate that the difference in pay, between the two presenters, was due to reasons other than sex discrimination and the BBC failed to do so. The Tribunal found that the difference in pay was “striking” in that Vine was paid more than six times that of Ahmed for undertaking very similar work. 

The BBC argued that Vine had a greater profile, Points of View reached a larger public audience and that Entertainment and News require different skills from presenters, however this did not persuade the Tribunal that the difference in pay was justified.

The BBC has commented that it was “unable to call people who had made decisions as far back as 2008 and have long since left the BBC.” It admitted that it’s pay framework, in the past, had not been “transparent and fair enough” and that it had made “significant changes to address this.”

The case emphasises the need for employers to ensure that pay frameworks are fair and transparent, particularly with regard to employees providing similar services and of equal experience and skill. 

Should you wish to discuss any employment-related disputes, please contact Abigail Williams using the details below: 

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  • 0207 381 4587

Abigail can represent both employers and employees in all Employment Tribunal claims, providing pragmatic advice to achieve the best outcome in your circumstances.

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