BBC Loses Landmark Sex Discrimination Equal Pay Claim Against Host

BBC Broadcasting House - Getty - H 2018
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Samira Ahmed had claimed she was underpaid for her work hosting a show compared with the salary of a male presenter on a similar program, arguing she was owed more than $900,000 in back pay.

The BBC has lost a sex discrimination equal pay claim launched by the presenter Samira Ahmed. 

Journalist/writer/broadcaster Ahmed had claimed that she was underpaid for her work hosting the BBC show Newswatch when compared with the salary of Jeremy Vine on a similar program, Points of View. She was paid 440 pounds ($575) per episode of the audience feedback show compared with the 3,000 pounds ($3,900) per episode Vine was paid; Ahmed argued that she was owed almost 700,000 pounds ($915,000) in back pay because of the difference. 

The BBC had claimed the two performed "very different roles," but the judgment, announced Friday following a tribunal that ended in November and was found unanimously in favor of Ahmed, asserted that: "Her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine’s work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010."

During the tribunal, Ahmed said she "could not understand how pay for me, a woman, could be so much lower than Jeremy Vine, a man, for presenting very similar programmes and doing very similar work."

In a statement following the judgment, the BBC said: "We have always believed that the pay of Samira and Jeremy Vine was not determined by their gender. Presenters — female as well as male — had always been paid more on Points of View than Newswatch."