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Samira Ahmed wins BBC equal pay tribunal

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Samira Ahmed's claim dated from 2012 to 2018
Presenter Samira Ahmed has won the employment tribunal she brought against the BBC in a dispute over equal pay.Ahmed claimed she was underpaid for hosting audience feedback show Newswatch when compared with Jeremy Vine's salary for Points of View.The judgment said "her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine's work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010." Ahmed said she was "glad it's been resolved"."No woman wants to have to take action against their own employer," she said, adding: "I love working for the BBC."
Ahmed (right) was accompanied by BBC Breakfast's Naga Munchetty on the tribunal's first day
She thanked the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), her legal team and "everyone - all the men and women who've supported me and the issue of equal pay. I'm now looking forward to continuing to do my job, to report on stories and not being one".The journalist told the recent hearing that she was owed almost However, the "unanimous judgment" said the corporation "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". It said the "the terms relating to pay in the claimant's contracts for presenting Newswatch from 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2018" should be "modified so as not to be less favourable than the terms relating to pay in Jeremy Vine's contracts for present points of View from 2008 to July 2018". The BBC said after the judgment was published: "Samira Ahmed is an excellent journalist and presenter and we regret that this case ever had to go to tribunal."Stressing its commitment to equality and equal pay, it added: "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."
Jeremy Vine hosted Points of View for a decade until 2018
NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said it was "an incredibly brave decision on Samira's part" to bring the case to tribunal."For the BBC this became a battle over the differences as they saw it between their internal divisional silos of News and Entertainment. For the NUJ, this was simply a case of two roles that were commensurate, on two programmes that were supremely comparable, carried out by two high profile experienced presenters," she said.Ahmed had told the tribunal, which ended in November, that 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".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.Ahmed argued 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. But the BBC said there was a big difference between news programmes like Newswatch and entertainment shows like Points of View.
'Unfair comments'
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 said Ahmed was paid the same as her Newswatch predecessor Ray Snoddy, who they said was her pay comparator, rather than Vine.But Ahmed's closing submissions criticised the corporation's witnesses and evidence.She also said BBC witnesses were prepared to give evidence "about matters that they had little knowledge of" and that the corporation had "repeatedly sought to make other unfair comments" about her credibility.Ahmed also co-hosts BBC Radio 4 arts show Front Row.
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