BBC presenter Samira Ahmed is cheered as she arrives for gender pay-gap employment tribunal flanked by colleagues Naga Munchetty, Maxine Mawhinney and Aasmah Mir
- Radio 4 presenter Samira Ahmed is taking the BBC to an employment tribunal
- She argues she was paid much less than Jeremy Vine for doing ‘very similar job’
- Ms Ahmed asked why she was paid £465 per episode of the show Newswatch
- Meanwhile, Mr Vine was paid up to £3,000 for each episode of Points Of View
BBC presenter Samira Ahmed (centre) has arrived for her gender pay gap tribunal
BBC presenter Samira Ahmed was cheered by crowds of supporters as she arrived for her gender pay-gap tribunal flanked by a host of colleagues including Naga Munchetty.
The Radio 4 presenter claims she was paid considerably less than her high-profile male colleague Jeremy Vine despite both doing ‘a very similar job’.
She has taken the BBC to an employment tribunal regarding alleged ‘failure to provide equal pay for equal value work’, according to court documents.
Arriving at the tribunal in London today, the presenter was flanked by supporters including broadcaster Aasmah Mir and former former BBC newsreader Maxine Mawhinney.
Ms Ahmed asked why she was paid £465 per episode of Newswatch – an audience-led critique of coverage by BBC News – while Jeremy Vine was paid up to £3,000 for each episode of Points Of View, work Ms Ahmed described as comparable.
In a statement ahead of today’s London court clash, Ms Ahmed said: ‘I love my job on Newswatch despite it being difficult and challenging.
‘On the back of my BBC ID card are written the BBC values which include “we respect each other and celebrate our diversity” and “we take pride in delivering quality and value for money”.
‘I just ask why the BBC thinks I am worth only a sixth of the value of the work of a man for doing a very similar job.’
Ms Ahmed has been backed by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig and lawyer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, among others.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: ‘The scourge of unequal pay has no place in our public service broadcaster and that’s why the NUJ is backing Samira’s case and many others.
The Radio 4 presenter is taking the BBC to an employment tribunal regarding alleged ‘failure to provide equal pay for equal value work’, according to court documents
‘Unfortunately, despite Samira going through a lengthy and frustrating internal process in the hope that a sensible solution could be achieved, the BBC has not resolved this case and it will now be for the tribunal to determine whether this monumental pay gap is appropriate and defensible.
‘Samira is to be congratulated for her persistence and determination to secure fair and equal treatment by her employer.’
Jeremy Vine was paid up to £3,000 for each episode of Points Of View, work Ms Ahmed described as comparable
Ms Ahmed has been among the female talents at the BBC to voice their concerns over pay equality following the scandal over former China editor Carrie Gracie’s salary.
Ms Ahmed, who also presents Radio 4’s Front Row, previously said she felt ‘hugely bullied’ over her employment status at the BBC.
In a statement, a BBC spokesman said: ‘The BBC is committed to equal pay. Points Of View is an entertainment programme with a long history and is a household name with the public.
‘Newswatch – while an important programme – isn’t. Samira was paid the same as her male predecessor when she began presenting Newswatch.
‘Gender has not been a factor in levels of pay for Points Of View. News and entertainment are very different markets and pay across the media industry reflects this.’
The hearing, to be held at the Central London Employment Tribunal, is listed to last for seven days.