Senior BBC journalist, Carrie Gracie, resigned in January as BBC China editor because her equivalent male editors earned more than her £135,000 a year salary. She previously said that she refused a £45,000 pay rise because it still left a “big gap” between her and her male counterparts when all she wanted was to be “made equal”.

The dispute was today resolved after the BBC apologised to Carrie Gracie and paid back pay. She has said that she will donate the money received to the Fawcett Society, a charity that campaigns for gender inequality to set up a fund for women who require legal advice on equal pay claims.

This dispute has been damaging for the BBC as it attempts to address pay inequality with dozens of high profile stars.  The issues of gender inequality has come to the surface when from 6 April 2017, the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations came into force, which means that each year, large organisations (public, private and voluntary) with 250 or more employees are under a legal obligation to report data concerning employee pay and bonus pay as well as information on the number of men and women in each quartile of the organisation’s pay distribution.

Employers must give men and women equal treatment in the terms and conditions of their employment contract if they are employed to do:

  • ‘like work’ – work that is the same or broadly similar
  • work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study
  • work found to be of equal value in terms of effort, skill or decision making.

Employees can compare any terms in the contract of employment with the equivalent terms in a comparator’s contract. A comparator is an employee of the opposite sex working for the same employer, doing like work of equal value. However, an employer may defend a claim if they show the reason for the difference is due to a genuine factor and not based on the sex of the employee.

The equal terms can cover all aspects of pay and benefits, including:

  • basic pay
  • overtime rates
  • performance related benefits
  • hours of work
  • access to pension schemes
  • non monetary terms
  • annual leave entitlements.

If you require any advice concerning equal pay, please contact Farleys employment solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry through our online contact form.