BBC 'Pays Ethnic Minority Staff PS20,000 a Year Less Than White Employees' Senior Editor at World Service Sues for Race Discrimination

The Evening Standard (London, England), April 30, 2018 | Go to article overview

BBC 'Pays Ethnic Minority Staff PS20,000 a Year Less Than White Employees' Senior Editor at World Service Sues for Race Discrimination


Byline: Benedict Moore-Bridger EXCLUSIVE

A SENIOR editor at the BBC has accused the Corporation of paying ethnic minority staff nearly PS20,000 a year less than white colleagues, the Standard can reveal.

Saleem Patka is suing the BBC for race discrimination, claiming that staff earned less simply because of the colour of their skin.

In legal documents seen by the Standard, Mr Patka, a senior manager at the World Service languages unit in London, claimed Freedom of Information figures showed World Service languages staff were paid an average of PS7,400 less than staff on the same grade in network news. At his level he said the difference in average pay was over PS18,700 a year.

He claimed the main reason for the pay gap was because 74.4 per cent of World Service languages staff in London had black and minority ethnic backgrounds, while 80.2 per cent of network news staff had white backgrounds. Mr Patka, of Indian origin, has been embroiled in a two-year legal battle over his claims, which the Corporation is contesting.

This comes after a row over salary gaps between men and women at the BBC, sparked when China editor Carrie Gracie quit after learning male that international editors earned "at least 50 per cent more" than her.

Mr Patka, a former night editor of the Today programme, and editor of BBC Worldwide's main news programme World Briefing, complained he had suffered pay-related race discrimination since May 2010. Outlining his case at a preliminary hearing in 2016, an employment judge said: "The claimant's case... is that on the grounds of race the salary he was offered at the three managerial roles that he held since 2010 was at a lower level than that which was offered or would have been offered to white managers in network news at the same level doing the same work as him. …

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