BBC journalist Samira Ahmed wins equal pay case against the broadcaster who she took to an employment tribunal in November, claiming being paid 85% less than a man doing an equal job.
Today on winning the tribunal Ahmed said. “No woman wants to have to take action against their own employer,” adding: “I love working for the BBC”.
Ahmed, who had presented Newswatch since 2012, was seeking hundreds of thousands of pounds in back pay claiming being paid unreasonably less than Jeremy Vine, for his work on BBC’s Points of View. The BBC argued that Vine was better known and Points of View had a wider audience, saying there was a big difference between news programmes like Newswatch and entertainment shows like Points of View.
Ahmed claimed that Vine was paid £3,000 an episode for Points of View between 2008 and January 2018, then reduced to £1,300, while she was paid £440 per episode.
The National Union of Journalists, agreed with Ahmed saying they were both doing jobs of equal value, both working on presenter-led programmes just under 15 minutes in length.
Ahmed had said: “I have a sense of pride working for a public service broadcaster which seeks to represent the diversity of Britain and its licence fee payers.
The judgment stated: “her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine’s work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010 and “we do not accept that the lighter tone of Points of View meant that the claimant’s work and that of Mr Vine were not broadly similar.”
The judgement continued on points of law that despite the BBC stating the presenter of Points of View “needed to have ‘a glint in the eye’ and to be cheeky, we had difficulty in understanding what the respondent meant and how that translated into a ‘skill’ or ‘experience’ to do a job.
This is a landmark case as it can have a profound effect on future cases not just within the BBC but other organisations.