BBC response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into Equal Pay

In March 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) started an investigation into pay practices at the BBC. Today, the Commission has published its final report, which has found no evidence of unlawful pay discrimination.

Published: 12 November 2020

Responding to the EHRC report BBC Chairman David Clementi says: “We note the findings of the EHRC and are pleased that they recognise the Board’s commitment to ongoing reform. Equal pay is a vital issue and the Board will continue to oversee the BBC’s work to be a leader in this area.”

BBC Director-General, Tim Davie, says: “We welcome this report from the EHRC. We note that the Commission has made no unlawful findings against the BBC and recognises that there have been significant improvements to BBC pay practices in recent years.

“However, we have to work even harder to be best in class. Trust is vitally important and as an organisation that serves the public, the BBC must continue to lead the way on pay transparency and fairness. We are committed to building a truly inclusive culture.

“We agree with the Commission that we should continue to deliver on our reform programme which began in 2015. We accept every one of their recommendations and will implement them.”

In the report the EHRC recognises there have been significant improvements to BBC pay practices in recent years, saying: “The BBC has made a series of wide-reaching reforms which have significantly improved the coherence, consistency and transparency of its pay systems. The reforms have reduced the risk of pay discrimination considerably.”

The BBC acknowledges we haven’t always got it right on pay in the past and we have worked hard to change this.

The BBC always strives to lead the way on pay transparency and fairness, so we welcome the opportunity to further improve and are setting out more plans today.

We will:

  • Conduct regular equal pay audits, at least every five years.
  • Continue to improve the technology we use to aid real time pay comparisons and improve our record keeping of pay decisions to improve pay reporting and analysis.
  • Review our job pay ranges to reduce overlap.
  • Consider measures to resolve staff being paid more than the maximum of their pay range.
  • Set a realistic timescale for new pay queries, update on progress regularly and ensure that outcomes are communicated effectively, including signposting to wellbeing support.
  • Roll out further training for all our team leaders and HR teams on equal pay, fair pay and effective pay management.
  • Continue to build on our Diversity & Inclusion training with a focus on inclusive culture and behaviours.

Read the full EHRC report here.

How we are responding to the recommendations can be seen in full here.


Examples of our reforms since 2015

  • There are now far fewer job titles allowing people to easily compare themselves to their peers.
  • We have increased transparency. Staff can go online and see how their pay compares to others - men and women.
  • We use sophisticated pay tools that allow us to compare salaries across similar roles, to reduce the risk of unequal pay when it is being set.
  • We regularly check every person’s pay against their peers and adjustments are made if needed.
  • We have new training for managers to ensure they are continuing to take equal pay and fair pay into consideration when setting salaries, which are now overseen centrally.
  • We conduct regular employee surveys to monitor if our pay practices are seen as fair and transparent.
  • We made a commitment to complete cases within 90 days and those open are under 90 days old. Now 99% of original pay queries have been closed.