Pay disputes with women

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, British Broadcasting Corporation should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Caroline Barlow

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the below information. This request follows a report in the Financial Times on 24 February 2020 relating to pay disputes, stating that 8 staff members have lodged claims with the employment tribunal and another 38 are being heard internally via the BBC’s grievance process.

The data requested is for the period 19 July 2017 to the present (please confirm the end date of the data snapshot in your response).

The response to the three questions below should include:

• Any women who have undertaken paid work for the BBC irrespective of their employment contract type or employment status and should include freelance workers
• Any women who have undertaken paid work for any part of the BBC including all of its publicly owned subsidiaries
• Any women who have since left the BBC

1. How many women have pay-related cases against the BBC registered at employment tribunal? If this differs from the number reported by the Financial Times, please provide a reason for the variance.

2. How many women have pay-related cases against the BBC registered with ACAS?

3. How many women in total have received pay revisions, increases or settlements including any adjustments for back pay or pension remedy from the BBC as a result of any of the following?

• Employment Tribunal proceedings including preliminary hearings and judicial mediations
• ACAS mediation/conciliation process
• BBC internal grievance or grievance appeal
• Any informal pay enquiry recorded by the BBC’s HR Case Management System / Case Tracker

If for any reason you feel this request is unclear, of if you have any concerns about the time it would take to obtain all or part of this data, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you are not the appropriate authority for this request, or for part of it, please let me know as soon as is convenient.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Barlow

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Caroline Barlow,

Thank you for your request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000, as detailed in your email below. Your request was
received on 8 March 2020. We will deal with your request as promptly as
possible, and at the latest within 20 working days of receipt. If you have
any queries about your request, please contact us at the address below.

 

The reference number for your request is RFI20200367.

 

Kind regards,

 

Information Rights

 

BBC Freedom of Information

BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP

 

[1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2][BBC request email]

 

[3]cid:image001.gif@01D3DBB7.69D5E540

 

 

 

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Dear FOI Enquiries,

I am writing to follow up on FOI RFI20200367 dated 8 March relating to Pay disputes with women. By law a response should have been provided by 6 April but is still outstanding.

We are in unprecidented times, however many Employment Tribunal processes are continuing remotely during the pandemic and it is important for the public to understand the scale of the challenge which the BBC is still facing over disputes with its employees at this critical time - many BBC employees have reported that they are designated as key workers. I note a further report in The Telegraph on 11 April relating to the ongoing issue of pay disputes with women at the corporation accompanied by a significant rise in bullying and harrassment grievances by women.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Barlow

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Barlow,

                                            

Please find attached the response to your request for information,
reference RFI2020367.

 

Yours sincerely

 

BBC Information Rights

Room BC2 A4

Broadcast Centre

White City

London

W12 7TS

UK

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

 

[3]Description: Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My
Pictures\BBC.png

 

References

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1. file:///tmp/www.bbc.co.uk/foi
2. mailto:[BBC request email]

Caroline Barlow

Dear British Broadcasting Corporation,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of British Broadcasting Corporation's handling of my FOI request 'Pay disputes with women'.

1. As you know, the FOIA places a duty on any public authority in receipt of such a request to respond within 20 working days of receipt. Your response to my request was provided on 13 July 2020, 87 working days after I submitted my request on 8 March 2020 and 11 working days after the Information Commissioner’s Office wrote to you reminding you of your legal obligations and requesting a response within 10 working days. I believe this delay breaches information laws and should be subject to internal review.

2. The data I requested is not static and is likely to be changing over time. Your response provided a cut of the data as of the date of my request, 8 March 2020. However, the substantial delay means this data was out of date by the time you provided your response and the data could have changed materially during that time. I believe that in order for you to be compliant with information laws, you must provide a new cut of the data, one which has been taken within 20 working days of the date you provide your response.

3. In response to question 3 of the FOI you have stated,
‘With regards to the number of pay revisions/increase or settlements for women lodging ET proceedings, we are withholding this information under section 40(2) (personal information) of the FOI Act. Under section 40(2), personal information about identifiable living individuals is exempt if disclosure to a third party would breach one or more principles in the General Data Protection Regulation.’

a. It is difficult to see how providing a total number of cases could breach GDPR regulations. Names of individuals or other information which might identify them has not been requested. I believe this response should be reviewed.

b. Regardless of the above point, the FOI did not request a separate number for pay revisions as a result of ET alone, it requested a total number of pay revisions that have resulted from any of the processes listed in the FOI including ET, ACAS, internal grievance etc. This summary data cannot be related to identifiable individuals. Please provide a total number of pay revisions as requested in the FOI and list any exclusions and reasons for those exclusions e.g. ACAS mediation/conciliation data not available.

4. In response to question 3 of the FOI you have stated
‘In regards to your question above concerning how many women have received pay revisions, increases or settlements as a result of ACAS mediation/Conciliation process, the Act does not require us to comply with a request if to do so would exceed the appropriate limit as set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3244). The appropriate limit has been set at £450 (equivalent to two and a half days work, at an hourly rate of £25). In order to respond in full to your 3 request we estimate that to carry out this search would take BBC Staff more than two and a half days. The BBC would need to read every settlement agreement that we have drafted since 2017 to confirm whether (i) it was related to a pay claim (as opposed to any other type of claim) and (ii) whether it was settled as a result of going to ACAS (as opposed to any other stage, for example, pre-ACAS or post-claim). Therefore, under section 12 of the Act, we are refusing to handle the request as it would exceed the appropriate limit.’

You have stated that you would need to read every settlement agreement in order to provide this information. Can you confirm that there is no other way to determine the information requested for example, the BBC is not keeping a summary record, for internal monitoring purposes, of the number of settlement agreements it reaches with individuals and the remedies included in those settlement agreements e.g. ‘pay dispute’ or ‘termination fee’?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Caroline Barlow

FOI Enquiries, British Broadcasting Corporation

1 Attachment

Dear Caroline Barlow,

 

We have received your request for an internal review which was received 23
July 2020.  We shall deal with the review as promptly as possible and, aim
to respond at the latest, within 20 working days from the date of receipt.
If you have any queries please contact us at the address below. 

 

The reference number for your internal review is IR2020030.

Yours sincerely,

 

Information Rights

 

BBC Freedom of Information

BC2 A4, Broadcast Centre

201 Wood Lane

London W12 7TP

 

Website: [1]www.bbc.co.uk/foi

Email: [2]mailto:[BBC request email]

[3]Description: Description: \\BBCFS2025\UserData$\myrien01\Documents\My
Pictures\BBC.png

 

 

 

 

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