“Equal pay is about fairness and men and women as allies,” BBC presenter Samira Ahmed said after winning the case.

UK journalist Samira Ahmed wins equal pay case against employer BBC
news Gender Equality Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 08:59

Setting a new precedent for eliminating the gender pay gap across industries, BBC presenter Samira Ahmed has won the equal pay case against her employer.

The journalist, who hosts Newswatch on BBC, had filed a claim last year, stating that she was underpaid by £700,000 (Rs 6.49 crore) when compared to a male host Jeremy Vine. According to BBC, while Samira received £440 (around Rs 40,000) per episode for her show ‘Newswatch’, Jeremy was paid £3,000 (over Rs 2 lakh) per episode for his show ‘Points of View’. She had argued that both the programmes are presented in a similar format and lasted about 15 minutes. She had also said that the shows allow viewers to voice their opinions, and hence she deserved equal pay.

On January 10, Friday, the employment tribunal gave a unanimous judgment, stating that “by virtue of teh sex equality clause, the terms relating to Samira’s clause are modified so as not be less favourable than the terms relating to pay  in Jeremy Vine’s contracts”.

An employment tribunal unanimously concluded that the BBC had failed to provide convincing evidence to show “the real reason for the difference in pay, the cause of the difference in pay and that did not involve any sex discrimination”.

Reacting to the victory, Samira said she was glad that the case was resolved after years of dispute with BBC. “I love working for the BBC. No woman wants to have to take action against their own employer,” she has been quoted as saying by The Guardian.

She also took to Twitter to thank the tribunal and National Union of Journalists for their support.

“Bit overwhelmed. Thankyou for all the kind words. Could not have brought this case without support of my union NUJ, my brilliant lawyers Claire Darwin and Caroline Underhill and all those who showed they understand equal pay is about fairness and men and women as allies. Very important. I’d like to thank the judge and panel members of my employment tribunal for their time and consideration and their judgement. Thank you,” she wrote.

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