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Gender Pay Equality: Broadcasting

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 22 March 2018

9. What recent assessment he has made of the level of gender pay equality in the broadcasting sector. (904529)

It is clear from recently published gender pay gap data that pay inequality is widespread across the broadcasting sector, and it is imperative that organisations take immediate action to address this imbalance. The new gender pay gap reporting rules have dramatically improved transparency, and shone a light on inequality and bad practice. I expect our public service broadcasters to lead by example and take effective action.

This week, the Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport heard yet more evidence of how BBC management have grossly failed workers over pay and pensions. Given that one estimate we heard put the BBC liability in the tens of millions, will the Minister urge the BBC to come clean: how much will this gender pay mess cost licence fee payers, and when precisely can workers expect redress?

Although the BBC is operationally independent of Government, it must act within the law. We welcome the publication of the BBC’s review of on-air pay and plans to establish a pay policy that rewards people fairly, but it is for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to consider whether to investigate, as the regulatory body responsible, and it has already been in touch with the BBC.