Copyright Moore Barlow LLP (Moore Blatch and Barlow Robbins merged May 2020)

Samira Ahmed wins equal pay tribunal

One of the BBC’s most high-profile presenters, Samira Ahmed, has won the equal pay tribunal she
brought against the broadcaster.

Ahmed, as presenter of BBC’s Newswatch, was paid £440 per episode. Yet Vine, as presenter of Points of View, was paid £3,000 per episode. Claiming that these were like-for like roles, Ahmed claimed to have been underpaid by £700,000.

The BBC insisted the pay disparity “was not determined by their gender”, pointing out that Ahmed was paid the same as her predecessor, Ray Snoddy, and therefore he should be seen as her pay
comparator, not Vine.

However, the tribunal unanimously agreed with Ahmed, saying her work was like that done by Vine. With the burden being on the BBC to prove that the pay gap was not due to gender, the judgement
found the BBC did not produce evidence to prove the pay gap was due to differences in their roles, programmes and profiles.

In a case that could have far reaching implications, the judgement has challenged the previously held presumption that a higher profile could lead to higher pay. It also highlights the importance of pay equality for those that have like for like roles.

Comment

We are seeing a flurry of high-profile equal pay claims in the news at the moment which could bring this issue to the forefront of employee’s minds. Now is as good a time as any to review your
employee salaries and consider whether there are any pay disparities which need to be addressed.


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