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BBC: Gender Pay Equality

Volume 638: debated on Thursday 29 March 2018

The Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries and I will discuss pay equality with the BBC. We are clear that the BBC, as a public service broadcaster that is funded by the licence fee, has a responsibility to set an example on pay and other equality measures in the workplace. Getting that right is important for licence fee payers, as well as for all the talented women who work at the BBC.

Even more disgraceful than its continued pro-remain Brexit coverage is the way in which the BBC discriminates against female employees. Will my hon. Friend invite the director-general into her office for an interview without coffee to make it quite clear that this continued maltreatment of female employees must stop immediately?

We are in the process of arranging exactly such a meeting, but I must confess that I have not yet put my mind to our precise hospitality arrangements.

Words are clearly not enough, so what steps are being taken to enforce gender pay equality in the BBC, as it seems that previous discussions on the issue have been supremely unsuccessful?

We are clear that it is against the law to pay women differently when they do the same work as men, and that has been the law for some 40 years. The deadline for the gender pay gap data is next Wednesday, and large employers such as the BBC must have published their data by then. This is precisely about drawing open those areas where women are not being treated as fairly by their employers as men.