Yesterday, I wrote about the steps we are taking to be transparent in showing both staff and licence fee payers how pay is fairly determined in the BBC. But this is only part of the work which has been going on to modernise the BBC, making it fairer, simpler and more consistent. Another key part is changes we’re making to employee Terms and Conditions.
Two years ago, we had too many different contracts, a complex pay and grading structure, and outdated policies and allowances that weren’t applied evenly across the organisation.
It was clear that this needed to change in order to make the BBC a simpler, fairer and more consistent place to work and to ensure we operate efficiently for licence fee payers. We are a modern, 24-7 broadcaster, but too many of our working arrangements dated back to a different era.
We spent many months working with the BBC’s joint unions - the NUJ, Bectu and Unite - and consulting with staff before the proposals were accepted at the ballots. As Tony Hall said at the launch of our Annual Report and Accounts, it really is the biggest change to the way we employ our staff in a generation.
This means a new pay deal for staff through to 2020, one standard contract and six simpler broad bands instead of the old structure with 16 different grades. Within those bands, each job has a clear range of pay which is visible to all staff, benchmarked against external organisations to ensure we can attract and retain the very best talent whilst paying at a level that’s right for a publicly funded organisation.
The changes will ensure help for those lower paid. The BBC’s full time minimum salary will increase from £15,687 to £20,000. And those whose salaries are below their job pay range will be brought up to the minimum of that range.
It means consistency across all teams in how sick leave is applied. Those taking paternity leave will be given two weeks at full pay instead of statutory pay, and shared parental leave will be given at full pay for up to 18 weeks.
Unpredictability Allowances - payments made to those employees whose working time does not follow a fixed pattern and which, in line with programme needs, can change at short notice - will no longer be paid to new joiners and will be frozen for those who currently receive it. And we’re being much clearer about the process for drafting and changing rotas.
We’ve already started implementing some of the changes, and working with the unions, we’ll continue to introduce the rest over the coming months.
It has taken a great deal of work and input from all those involved, but the changes that will come will not only be good for staff but good for our audiences as we continue to ensure that as much of the money that we control is spent on what matters most, our content and services.