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Sunday, 18 February 2018

BBC Slammed Over Wake Up Payments

The cold, dark, winter mornings makes getting out of bed difficult at the best of times, but the experience is being financially softened for thousands of early-rising BBC employees.

The BBC has confirmed that more than 4,500 journalists and production staff working on early morning programmes receive special unpredictability payments of up to £5,462 for their troubles.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: "The BBC is offering perks and privileges that are unavailable to anyone else in the public or private sector. Hard-pushed doctors and nurses have to work all hours, and if work needs to be done in the private sector it has to be done irrespective of the time of day.

"The problem is that the BBC does not live in a commercial world and it does not have to because it is totally funded by £4 billion of taxpayers' money."

One former employee, who did not want to be identified, explained how bosses would sometimes top up employees' salaries with the payments, irrespective of whether they had worked anti-social hours or not. "We used to call them payments for getting out of bed. It was ridiculous", he added.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "This shows the BBC has still not got a grip on its bloated and byzantine payment systems.

"Licence-fee payers want their money to be spent responsibly, not given out in opaque payments like this.

"People who go the extra mile in the public sector should be rewarded through merit-based remuneration, but these unpredictability payments seem open to abuse."

Not surprisingly, the BBC has defended the payments.

A BBC spokesman said: "It's impossible to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week without employing people to work through the nights, and sometimes shifts change at short notice.

"Like most organisations we reflect this in our pay structure. However, we're always looking to make savings and the unpredictability allowance has come down by over £11 million since 2009."

The obvious answer to us is to abolish these payments altogether, making it quite clear to new employees that they are obliged to work their hours according to the requirements of the BBC. If they don't like those terms of employment, they are free to seek an alternative elsewhere.

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1 comment:

The Toffee said...

Whilst I'm sickened by bbc profligacy & largesse, it's effing rich of tories like andrew bridgen to harp on about doctors & nurses pay when he & his fellow conservative rats vote consistently for austerity and 1% pay rises for the selfsame people.