BBC presenter, Samira Ahmed, a moment ago won the employment suit she brought against her employer (BBC) regarding discriminatory pay.
The presenter had claimed that she was paid less that another male presenter, Jeremy Vine who hosts an audience feedback show, Points of View. Samira, on the other hand, hosts a different audience feedback show called Newswatch.
The judgment today 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.”
The BBC has said that the two presenters performed “very different roles”.
But the judgement today said BBC “has not shown that the difference in pay was because of a material factor which did not involve subjecting the claimant [Ahmed] to sex discrimination”.
Ahmed, in her final address to the Tribunal in November, 2019 has wondered “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”.
The fact of the case revealed that Vine got £3,000 per episode for BBC One’s Points of View between 2008 and 2018. Ahmed was paid less than one sixth of that – £440 – for Newswatch, which is shown on the BBC News Channel and BBC Breakfast.
She insisted at trial that she had more input into the stories and scripts on her show than Vine did in his, and her work required more preparation time, even though the BBC said there was a big difference between news programmes like Newswatch and entertainment shows like Points of View.
They also argued that Vine was better-known, citing audience research carried out in 2017 that found 71% people recognised him, compared with 29% for Ahmed.
The BBC’s legal team has also claimed that Ahmed was paid the same as her predecessor on the Newswatch show, Ray Snoddy, hinting that he was supposed to be the one with whom she should be compared, not Vine.