Broadcasting union Bectu has called on BBC HR chief Stephen Kelly to hand back his £33,000 annual bonus in the wake of job cuts at the corporation.
The corporation’s 2007-08 annual report was published last week, showing that Kelly was paid a total of £431,000 including bonus and benefits.
However, the BBC and Bectu agreed a plan in January that will see 1,800 jobs cut at the company over the next five years as part of a cost-cutting plan prompted by a funding crisis.
BBC director-general Mark Thompson decided not to take up his annual bonus of up to £64,000 because of the “scale of disruption and uncertainty” across the corporation.
Now Bectu has called on Kelly to follow Thompson’s lead.
A spokeswoman for the union said: “Stephen Kelly is in our line of fire. He is head of HR, and knows as well as his colleagues the upheaval the BBC has faced in the past year.
“It is incumbent on him to do the decent thing by not taking his bonus. We don’t see how he can justify taking his bonus when so many staff have gone, and that has increased the pressure on those who remain.”
However, the union insisted it retained a reasonable working relationship with Kelly, who joined the BBC in October 2006 after seven years at BT.
“We have a constructive relationship with the HR team,” said the spokeswoman. “We sometimes fall out, but we retain respect for each other because that is in the interests of the people we represent.”