BBC Journalists Claim To Have Been ‘Set Up to Fail’ in Rigged Interview For Chief Presenter

Four BBC journalists claim to have been subject to age and sex discrimination following the reorganization of the channel in 2022. They claim to have received lesser pay and been put through a rigged job application process.

Martine Croxall, Karin Giannone, Kasia Madera, and Annita McVeigh are taking the BBC to an employment tribunal. According to a legal statement submitted, they claim to have been subject to sizeable pay cuts which other younger presenters haven’t faced. They further claimed to have been put through a rigged assessment process.

As reported by the Independent, the initial claims by five journalists, now four, were similar. They all mention being between the ages of 48-54 and suffering from direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of age and sex.  Additionally, they claim to have faced harassment and victimisation for participating in union rep activities and carrying out protected acts.

The Recruitment Exercise Was a Sham, BBC Journalists Claim

In 2022, after the merger was announced the journalists said that they were asked to participate in a recruitment exercise in 2023. However, according to the court document submitted, the journalists claim that the recruitment exercise was a ‘sham’, and the redundancies were not genuine.

However, it was revealed later on by a BBC whistleblower that the selected chief presenters were already decided. The tribunal heard that BBC exec, Jess Brammar, who was editor of the BBC news channels at the time, assured certain candidates that their jobs were safe before the application process started.

The four BBC journalists stated that they were not given any such reassurances and were kept off the air upon challenging the process. In addition, the tribunal heard that the female journalists were paid less than their male colleagues while citing Matthew Amroliwala’s salary.

“The BBC grinds you down on pay”, the tribunal heard.

BBC at an Employment Tribunal Again: Four Years After the Samira Ahmed Case

This case follows the high-profile Samira Ahmed equal pay dispute that happened in 2020. Ms Ahmed won her employment tribunal claim at the time after she was underpaid by £700,000, in comparison to male presenter Jeremy Vine’s salary.

While the BBC has declined to comment, they have claimed that the recruitment process has been rigorous and fair, stating that all candidates were asked to go through the same process. Thereafter, the final candidates were selected after an objective assessment. The tribunal was also told that the director-general, Tim Davie, has openly stated on multiple occasions that he wanted fewer presenters.

The affected BBC journalists have been working in the company since as early as 1991. While this incident has deeply affected them, they state that working for BBC News is a big part of their lives. Before being asked to re-apply for their roles, all of them had been working as chief presenters for the BBC, with Ms Croxall being made chief presenter in 2001.

Have You Faced Similar Discrimination? Redmans Solicitors Can Help!

If you have experienced this discrimination at work and want advice on how to proceed, contact Redmans Solicitors now. We are employment law specialists and could advise on your possible next steps following a quick consultation.

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