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An Eversheds Sutherland report into equal pay at the BBC has cleared the corporation of ‘systemic gender discrimination’, but has made a number of recommendations about how the broadcaster can improve its systems and practices.

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James Booth

James joined Legal Week in June 2015. He reports on leading UK law firms, as well as covering the African legal market. He previously worked for legal directory Chambers & Partners as a deputy editor.

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  • Eversheds Sutherland

/uploads/sites/378/2016/08/bbc-television-centre-Article-201608081254.jpg" alt="" width="616" height="372" /> An Eversheds Sutherland report into equal pay at the BBC has cleared the corporation of systemic gender discrimination, but has made a number of recommendations about how the broadcaster can��improve its systems and practices. <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/07/eversheds-sutherland-advising-on-bbc-pay-review-in-wake-of-gender-pay-gap-furore/">Eversheds was commissioned</a> alongside big four accountant PwC to carry out an equal pay audit of staff, overseen by retired Appeal Court judge Sir Patrick Elias QC. The audit followed media outcry following the publication of the BBC���s annual report in July, which revealed the pay of all executives��earning more than ��150,000. Of 96 individuals��identified by the report as earning��more than ��150,000, <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/07/19/bbc-report-reveals-details-of-salaries-for-senior-in-house-lawyers/">only 34 were women</a>, with pay for the top male earner ��� Chris Evans, on ��2.2m-��2.25m ��� far outstripping that of the top female earner, Claudia Winkleman, who takes home ��450,000-��499,999. According to the Eversheds��report, ���the high-level job role data does not indicate that systemic gender discrimination is present". The report identified 575 job roles, of which 123 have a median pay gap of greater than 5% in favour of men, while 100 job roles have a median pay gap of more than 5% in favour of women. The other job roles either had too small a number of individuals to draw a conclusion or did not have a pay gap of more than 5% either way. However, the audit did show that at more senior levels, men were paid better than women. ���Overall, the tendency is that the median gaps move from being in favour of women at the lower grades to being in favour men at higher grades,��� the report states. It does not put this down to��gender, however, and states that ���there are many contributory factors and it is not possible to identify in this audit what precisely the factors are���, going on to suggest the recruitment of more men than women for senior jobs or the length of service of employees at higher grades are the reasons for the pay differences. Eversheds makes a number of recommendations in its report, including that the BBC introduces clear guidelines where management has a wide discretionary power over pay; that it makes its performance review system more consistent across the corporation; and that line managers review pay differentials of people they are responsible for, and where they exist, are able to provide documentation to explain them. The report does not deal with on-air��presenters, editors and correspondents, who are being looked at in a separate review, unless they hold staff roles. <

  • Eversheds Sutherland


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