Samira Ahmed’s equal pay victory is probably not going to help women
It is reported that:
- BBC pays out £3m to staff in a bid to avoid more employment tribunals following Samira Ahmed’s landmark equal pay victory
I do not care if the BBC pays out millions, as I do not pay for a TV licence, as I do not watch TV (unless I am at my friends). I find the BBC is not worth paying a fee for, as it has never anything on I would ever watch.
Samira Ahmed was correct in law, as it was seen that she was doing the same job as Jeremy Vine.
The law beng:
- Doing the same, or similar, jobs
- Doing work that has been rated as “equivalent”, or in the same grade
- Doing work of “equal value”, where jobs might be different but require a similar level of skill
The law states that you must be paid as much as your opposite gender, and not same gender. As such, a male could not claim they should be paid as much as Jeremy Vine.
In this case, Jeremy Vine is doing a BBC1 show (I believe) with a huge ordinance, while Samira Ahmed’s show (Newswatch) was on BBC News (I believe) with very few viewers.
So the law does not tolerate the value a person has. In entertainment, a person has a value in how popular they are.
A person in the entertainment industry, has a skill, and that is, being entertaining. This is a skill few possess, and is highly valued. Jeremy Vine has this skill, while very few can match his ability to entertain.
It is possible that someone on a BBC local radio station with 1 listener, could believe that they are doing the same work as a Radio 1 presenter with millions of listeners, and as such demand the same pay.
The result is, that we may see much fewer women employed in the entertainment industry as presenters, as firms will have no option to pay everybody the same, even if one person bring in millions of viewers while the other does not. Simply employing all white males, avoids this problem.
We see this in businesses. Fewer women are taken on at high position jobs, as it is feared that should they not get the promotion they believe they should have, they will take the company to court. Often firms will settle out of court to avoid bad publicity, as well as hoping to reduce the payout.
While feminists and those on the left see this cases as victory for women, one suspects that the result in the long term, is that women are disadvantaged.
We know this to be the case, as some women who run businesses have stated they cannot dare risk employing women as executives as they know they could take the company to court should they feel they have not got the promotion they deserve.
The entertainment industry is not the same as other work, in the regards that it has been the norm to pay or earn, on the basis of a person’s popularity.
It is also worth taking a note that those who backed Samira Ahmed’s equal pay case, appear to be the middle class, looking after the middle class. These people seem to be the ones who believe in the licence fee in order to provide these middle class presenters with a high quality of life, and who cares if poor families are forced to pay for a TV licence, just as long as the middle class are well off, that is all that matters.