BBC used licence fee cash to pay off women who complained about sexual harassment


BBC used licence fee cash to pay off women who complained about sexual harassmentBBC paid off ex-employees who made complaintsFormer members of staff made to sign 'compromise agreements' when they left corporation

By
Sara Malm

PUBLISHED:

02:10 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

02:18 GMT, 3 March 2013

The BBC used taxpayers' money to gag female members of staff who made complaints regarding sexual harassment.

Former members of staff who left claiming to have been victims of bullying or sexual harassment in the workplace, were forced to sign ‘compromise agreements’ when they left the corporation.

The deal signed by at least 20 ex-BBC employees bar them from revealing they have signed such a deal in the first place.

Gagged: The BBC used licence fee money to buy the silence of former staff who claim to have been victims of bullying or sexual harassment

Gagged: The BBC used licence fee money to buy the silence of former staff who claim to have been victims of bullying or sexual harassment

The group has made formal complaints to the BBC review set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

They brand the state broadcasters ‘hypocrites’ for making the ‘compromise agreements’ with staff whilst proclaiming to be in the process of ‘cleaning up’ the culture which enabled Jimmy Savile to commit sex crimes without being exposed.

Former Countryfile presenter Miriam O’Reilly, who won a landmark case against the BBC for age discrimination, has been approached by several former employees who claim to be victims of harassment and cannot speak out.

‘I spent 25 years being told by the BBC that we uphold freedom of speech and now it takes that away to uphold its corporate reputation,’ she told the Sunday Times.

Bought off: The 20 ex-employees have made formal complaints to review set up in the wake of Jimmy Savile scandal

Bought off: The 20 ex-employees have made formal complaints to review set up in the wake of Jimmy Savile scandal

Lawyer Ann Olivarius told the paper that she has been approached by ‘more than a dozen’ women who claim to have been bullied or suffered sexual harassment at the BBC.

The news comes the same week veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall, 83, made his first court appearance for 18 separate charges of sexual abuse spanning almost two decades.

Hall faces one charge of raping a young woman and 14 counts of indecent assault against children as young as nine.

He is alleged to have raped a 22-year-old woman in 1976 and 14 other alleged sexual assaults relate to 10 girls aged between nine and 16, between 1967 and 1986.

He denies any wrongdoing.