BBC hands over more than £130k to former worker over equal pay dispute

BBC hands over more than £130k in out-of-court settlement to former worker over equal pay dispute 

  • Caroline Barlow discovered 15 men in similar roles to her were being paid more 
  • She said that she was forced to resign because of BBC’s ‘discriminatory nature’
  • The BBC rejected her claims, but they admitted she was paid less than 15 men 
  • Corporation claimed Ms Barlow’s less pay was because of ‘non gender’ reasons 

The BBC have paid a former employee £130,00 in an out-of-court settlement, after an equal pay dispute. 

Caroline Barlow worked for the corporation for more than six years and filed an employment tribunal claim after she discovered that 15 men in similar roles and in the same division were paid more than she was.  

In her lawsuit, she said the BBC failed to meet its equal pay obligation and accused it of constructive dismissal, harassment and discrimination.

Ms Barlow worked as the former head of product in the corporation’s design and engineering division.

She said she was forced to resign because of the BBC’s ‘discriminatory nature and a hostile work environment’.  

In May, the BBC agreed the out-of-court settlement, as long as Ms Barlow withdrew her claim. 

The BBC paid an ex-employee £130,000 in an out-of-court settlement following an equal pay dispute (stock)

They also gave her a ‘termination fee’ as compensation for her unemployment.

The corporation has denied her claims but admitted that she had been paid less than 15 male heads of product in her department. 

According to the BBC, the difference in pay was because of ‘non-gender’ reasons. 

It also claimed that Barlow’s work was not of equal value to the male heads.    

A BBC spokesperson told the Guardian: ‘We don’t believe it is appropriate at this stage to comment on what is an individual matter that was resolved some time ago.’

However, Ms Barlow says that she was mistreated and claimed that inequality at the BBC is a choice. 

She said: ‘The BBC destroyed my career, my confidence, my mental wellbeing, and nothing will ever make up for that. So they can give as much money as they like, but it will never bring that back.’ 

Ms Barlow revealed that she first suspected she was being paid less than her male counterparts after the publication of the BBC’s career path framework data in 2017. 

That year, the BBC found that its male staff earned, on average, more than 9.3 per cent more than women.  

Ms Barlow said she thought the BBC would try and rectify the situation but her faith quickly eroded. 

After using the BBC’s pay inquiry process, she received a 25 per cent salary increase. 

However, because the process doesn’t allow claimants to have input, she believed she was still being underpaid. 

Caroline Barlow filed an employment tribunal claim after she discovered that 15 men in similar roles and in the same division were paid more than she was (stock)

Forcing bosses to release her pay review, she was able to compare it to male colleagues. 

Ms Barlow realised that she was paid at least £9,000 a year less than male colleagues.

She believed she was underpaid by up to £69,000 a year in comparison to some colleagues, despite being in the same bracket. 

A furious Ms Barlow has now claimed that there is a disconnect between public statements from the BBC on equal pay and the truth behind the scenes.  

She added that, while the corporation was full of dedicated staff, in some areas an ‘old boys’ club’ wielded excessive power. 

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