The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched an investigation into the BBC over suspected pay discrimination against women.
Investigators will look at records dating back to January 2016 to assess whether the pay differences at the BBC are “because of sex, whether it is direct sex discrimination or indirect sex discrimination”.
The BBC has voluntarily provided the EHRC with information about its pay policies, and the EHRC hopes to publish the results by the end of this year.
The BBC’s director general Tony Hall said: “We’ve been through a tremendous period of reform – and have already changed things for the better. The Commission itself recognises our commitment to reform and our collaborative approach.
“We try to be the gold standard of what everyone wants from society – openness, respect and equality. We may not always succeed, but I am confident that we are a decent and fair employer. And, of course, if there’s more we can do, we will.”
The NUJ said it had dealt with more than 200 equal pay cases at the BBC, including Carrie Gracie, who received an apology from the BBC after quitting her job as the corporation’s China editor in a dispute over equal pay.
General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “The EHRC’s starting point for this investigation – a suspicion that ‘some women at the organisation have not received equal pay for equal work’ – is in the NUJ’s view a fact.
“It is quite clear from the NUJ’s involvement – whether in the informal process, grievances or appeals, and potential tribunal claims – that pay inequity has been a reality at the corporation and that women have lost out in pay, pensions contributions and other terms and conditions.”