Tribunal strikes equal pay from BBC presenter claims


An employment tribunal has ruled that four female BBC presenters who have taken legal action against the broadcaster cannot include equal pay as part of their claim.

Martine Croxall, Karin Giannone, Kasia Madera and Annita McVeigh have accused the organisation of conducting a “sham recruitment exercise” after they lost their jobs when it merged its domestic and global news channels last year.

They claim that they were discriminated against because of their age, sex, and union membership during the recruitment for chief presenters after the merger.

The tribunal has concluded a two-day preliminary hearing to establish the structure of a full tribunal, which will be heard next March.

Judge Sarah Goodman ruled that because the women had previously reached equal pay settlements with the BBC, they could not bring new equal pay claims.

She also ruled that the women could take their other claims forward as a group, rather than individuals.

Croxall told the court that “The BBC grinds you down, it breaks you. You don’t feel like you can continue with it in the moment and that’s why I’m here.” She added that she would not have accepted a settlement from the organisation if she had thought she could not bring a future claim.

The BBC insists for its part that the application process was rigorous and fair.

In a joint statement, the women said they welcomed the opportunity to bring a joint discrimination claim: “We remain committed to seeking equal pay despite the BBC’s lawyers relying on a novel argument to prevent our claims progressing. We await the judge’s written ruling, to which we will give further consideration.”

The case comes four years after a high-profile equal pay dispute between the BBC and presenter Samira Ahmed.

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Ahmed received an undisclosed financial settlement with the corporation after she won an equal pay case. She had been seeking almost £700,000 in back pay after the court ruled that her work was equally comparable to that of male presenter Jeremy Vine, who was paid thousands more.

In 2021, the BBC revealed that it had paid more than £1 million to external barristers and solicitors to deal with a series of tribunal claims brought by staff in equal pay and race discrimination cases.