The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the UK’s House of Commons has published a short report in reaction to the BBC’s formal response to the Committee’s report on equal pay at the BBC. That report also considered the use of Personal Service Companies, licence-fee funding for people over 75, and the future of BBC Parliament.
“We’re aware of ongoing concerns among female staff at the BBC and will continue to monitor the situation on pay discrimination,” advised Damian Collins MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee. “We stand by the conclusion of our inquiry; that our evidence suggests that some women at the BBC who work in comparable jobs to men are earning far less.”
“BBC Studios, as a commercial arm of the BBC, is not currently covered by transparency rules. This means that staff employed by BBC Studios do not appear on the high earners list, effectively creating a loophole that means the BBC need not disclose the salaries of its top-earning talent.
“We do not accept the argument that, in particular, long-running BBC programmes, like Question Time or Songs of Praise, which are made by independent production companies, should not have to disclose the salaries of highly paid on-screen presenters. Ultimately it is all licence-fee payers’ money, whether salaries are paid directly from the BBC, by BBC Studios or any other production company.”
“We do not agree that publishing data from independent production companies would put the BBC at a competitive disadvantage, as there is no shortage of companies that are willing to work with the Corporation. We recommend that the BBC re-think this decision ahead of its forthcoming Annual Report.”