It is not often you see an HR director on BBC News at Ten talking about pay.
So I took special notice when Lucy Adams, HR director at the BBC, popped up on my TV screen on Wednesday night.
She was filmed appearing in front of the Commons spending watchdog, the public accounts committee, to answer questions on how former senior BBC executives were awarded large payoffs in breach of the corporation’s guidelines.
This short TV clip flagged up to me an issue that has been starting to cause discussion among reward professionals: the role HR should take on high pay.
This is a discussion that needs to become much louder because HR and reward professionals should be a lot more proactive on executive and remuneration committee decisions on pay, both high and low.
Hopefully not many HR and reward professionals will have to face a public enquiry as Adams has had to. But if they do (be it an enquiry at government level, shareholder, board, employee or unions) they should, especially at senior level, be sure they did their best to raise any potential issues they have seen with pay decisions, and argued strongly when those decisions could potentially harm the business.
I still hear too many reward professionals say they simply carry out the decisions of the remuneration committee or higher management with no push back.
If this attitude continues, we could see more HR and reward directors on the BBC News at Ten, and not for the right reasons.