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Quote by a male BBC actor - "Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too." 
 
Last week, the BBC revealed details of what it pays its highest earners. 
 
Chris Evans was the highest paid male and received over £2m whereas the highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman earned between £450,000 and £499,000.  The top four highest paid men collectively earned £5,500,000 compared to £1,749,996 earned by the top four highest paid women. 
These revelations are clearly concerning but have they really come as a shock?  A well-known male actor for the BBC appeared to defend the pay disparity when he reportedly made the comment "Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too."  He has since apologised for his comments but is this what many other people believe?  Top female talent at the BBC appear to have believed for some time that they were not being paid equally to their male colleagues. They’ve tried to raise their concerns but say they have been brushed aside. 
This begs the question; how many individuals are being ignored or side-lined when questioning their pay compared to a co-worker of the opposite sex? Would it be fair to go further and suggest that many sympathise or even agree with the gender pay gap? In a country where women earn 19.2% less than men per hour, sadly arguably this is the case. 
 
In recent years, thousands of equal pay claims have been lodged in the Employment Tribunal. Millions of pounds have been paid out to cleaners, cooks, care staff employed by Birmingham City Council. Thousands of Asda and Sainsbury’s employees are currently pursuing equal pay claims through the Tribunal. 
 
By law, employers with over 250 staff, are required to compare and report on what is paid to their male and female staff. They must also highlight any gender pay disparities but they are not required to remedy the problem and there is no provision for enforcement! It is down to an individual to shout foul play. However, most employers don’t employ more than 250 people and therefore don’t need to publish salaries. 
 
Are you affected by any of these issues? You could be a man or a woman, undertaking similar work to a colleague but being paid less. We would be happy to hear from you. 
 
Here at Spencer Shaw, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with clear and accurate employment law advice in plain English. 
 
Carina Jheeta 
Employment Solicitor 
 
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