BBC 'to introduce news presenter pay cap of £320000'

Lauren Hurley  PA Wire  PA Images

It also identified a 6.8% gender pay gap, rising to 12.6% among "lower-profile" presenters and reporters.

The report, which revealed the pay for staff on more than £150,000, revealed a gap in the earnings of its best-known male and female presenters and actors.

The BBC acknowledged a lack of "clear pay frameworks" and a "lack of clarity and openness about the basis for pay decisions because of the absence of pay ranges for on-air roles".

You don't bring rights down in order to achieve equality, you bring people up", she said, "In Canada, the law is: if there's discrimination, you bring the women's pay up.

But the BBC published a review of the pay of some 800 on-air staff, produced by PwC, which found no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making at the broadcaster, a cherished institution funded by a license fee levied on TV viewers.

Director General Tony Hall announced the conclusion of the investigation, which was carried out by audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers amid a controversy surrounding the corporation after the China editor Carrie Gracie resigned from her post in protest over unequal pay between men and women at the BBC. There is a real and systemic difference between the pay of men and women and that is something that needs to be addressed. "No one should be paid differently due to their gender", Hall said.

He added: "The plans we're setting out today go further and are more important steps in modernising the and making it fairer".

But the PwC review's findings are unlikely to satisfy aggrieved female staff. BBC Women said it had no confidence in the review.

The BBC said in a statement that the public service broadcaster was "very grateful" to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine for agreeing to reduce their salaries.

"Through the year, we will continue to make changes to our on-air line-ups at a faster rate", the said.

The broadcaster said it had already addressed nearly half of the 230 cases raised over pay unfairness and equality by women and men, and that it intended on concluding the rest by the summer.

The BBC drew much debate and headlines over the summer when it was forced to publish a list of its highest-paid presenters, revealing that the highest-paid man earned more than four times that of the highest-paid woman.

Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said: "The BBC believes in equality. Those are big, bold commitments I'm really serious about". It believes men and women should be paid the same for performing broadly similar roles.

Lord Hall told Channel 4 News's Cathy Newman, when asked if he has taken a pay cut: "No I haven't".

A national radio presenter, who describes themselves as an "award-winning broadcaster with more than 20 years' experience", spoke about being offered the chance to host what they say is a "flagship arts programme" at the corporation.

A new "transparent" pay structure "will have narrower pay bands because they have become too wide".

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