Financial & Legal News

The BBC gender pay gap – and the call for businesses to equalise pay

  • Posted on

The BBC's recent revelations about their gender pay gap is shining a light on the issue of equal pay.

Last week, the BBC published the salaries of 96 stars who earn more than £150,000. Claudia Winkleman was one of the few women to appear in the top 10 - and her £450k salary paled in comparison to the top earner’s £2m+ take home pay.

As intended by the government when it insisted on publication of the salaries, the disparity between the BBC’s salaries for men and women shines a very bright light on the gender pay gap. Not surprisingly, high-profile female employees at the BBC have now called for the BBC to ensure women are given equal pay for the same work.

Larger companies are legally bound to disclose their gender pay gap

Regular readers of our blog will know that new gender pay gap laws were introduced earlier this year. These new laws, (set out in The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017), force larger companies to report on the pay gap within their organisations. Employers with 250 or more employees in the private and voluntary sectors must calculate the difference between men's and women's average hourly pay. They then have to publish the results on both their own and a government website.

A difficult time ahead?

A difficult time lies ahead for the BBC as they seek to regulate their pay packages to ensure women are treated the same as men.

In the wider context, the BBC’s publication of its gender pay gap acts as an example which should force other businesses to take the gender pay gap seriously - and eliminate it.

All businesses should act now to equalise pay for men and women

The public’s reaction to the BBC revelations are a sharp warning to all employers. All businesses – not just the larger ones covered by the Gender Pay Gap Regulations - should now be reviewing what they pay men and women. If gaps are found, employers should take swift action to equalise pay for the genders.  Failure to do so will mean, at best, disgruntled staff; at worst, discrimination claims and tribunal hearings.

Help for employers in publishing gender pay details

The government and Acas published a draft guide to help employers on “Managing gender pay reporting in the private and public sectors”.

You can read our checklist for employers on gender pay reporting here.

Further reading

Gender Pay Regulations and their application to group companies - Close the gap") (This article was published in January 2017 before the regulations came into force but gives an outline of the regulations.) 


For more information about gender pay reporting and equal pay claims, contact Susan Mayall on 0161 684 6948 or make an enquiry.

Posted 24 July 2017

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

    How can we help?

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.