Sam Greenhill's article begins:
The BBC spent £4million laying off staff – only for nearly half of them to continue working as normal.
The money was paid to around 70 workers as compensation because their posts were being relocated north to Salford. But after accepting the ‘redundancy’ money – £57,000 each, on average – about 17 of them simply carried on in the same jobs, it is understood.
He goes on to quote the TaxPayers' Alliance who are always on hand to express some 'outrage':
‘The BBC could have saved millions by not making these unnecessary payouts.'
But the BBC has issued a statement in response to the Mail's story:
Today's Daily Mail claims that the BBC has spent £4m laying off staff in BBC Studios and Post Production (S&PP) – only for half of them to continue working as normal.
This article is inaccurate and misrepresents the facts, which are these.
Seventy roles were closed in BBC Studios and Post Production as a direct result of the move of the BBC Sport and BBC Children’s departments to Salford.
All staff whose posts closed were eligible for compromise agreements, which were legally agreed and negotiated with the unions. They are not “unnecessary payouts” or “cosy deals”.
No staff received any money until their posts had closed and they had left the BBC.
Seventeen staff had their leave date – and therefore their payment - delayed up until BBC Sport and BBC Children's production was fully up and running in Salford. It is clear that 17 out of 70 roles is not half, as The Mail suggested.
In addition, there was no re-hiring by the BBC. The contracts for Sport and Children’s were taken on by private companies based in Manchester. The BBC is not aware of any staff from S&PP having been employed by these companies in Salford, but if they were, it would be good news for the individual that they have been able to find a new job outside the BBC.
Finally, it is worth restating that BBC Studios and Post Production is a commercial company and this process was funded entirely from commercial revenue and not the Licence Fee.
(Hat-tip to Jem Stone)