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Sunday, 19 January 2020

BBC Pays Sarah Montague £1m Equal Pay Settlement

The BBC has paid Radio 4 presenter Sarah Montague £1 million following an internal investigation into gender pay inequality.

Montague, 53, who started with the BBC in 1997, presented the flagship Today programme alongside John Humphrys for 18 years. She left the programme in 2018 and was said to be "incandescent with rage" to learn that her salary of £133,000 was a fraction of the £600,000+ paid to Humphrys.

A BBC source told The Sun: "Sarah's case had rumbled on for some time and, for her, it was never about the money. It was the principle of doing the same job as a man, and being paid, and treated, the same. Her payout has been the talk of the BBC, and has inspired other women.

"But as far as both she and the Beeb are concerned, the matter is done and dusted."

In 2018, Montague said: "I had long suspected that I was paid much less than my colleagues but until the pay disclosures I had no idea of the scale of that difference.

"Some years ago I was even assured by a manager that I was not the lowest paid on the programme."

Montague's payout comes hot on the heels of an Employment Tribunal ruling that the BBC had unfairly discriminated against presenter Samira Ahmed by paying her less than male presenters doing comparable work.

The BBC fears that many more women could lodge equal pay claims in the future, so is currently conducting a damage limitation exercise.

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Edit (20/1/20): Both Sarah Montague and the BBC have gone on the record today, confirming that the settlement was in the sum of £400,000 and not £1 million as reported by the national press yesterday.

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