ITV bosses are at the centre of a bullying scandal after it was claimed today that six staff have been paid nearly £400,000 in settlements over racist, sexist and inappropriate remarks.
It has emerged that a series of investigations have taken place at the Tyne Tees newsroom – one dating back to allegations from six years ago when a manager allegedly left the company with a pay-off after a journalist complained of bullying. The journalist is said to have also left with an £80,000 pay package after threatening to take his case to an employment tribunal.
In the same newsroom, a further three female journalists lodged complaints of bullying, sexism, and racism, leading to more investigations. ITV is said to have offered to pay two of the women a combined sum of more than £110,000.
An ITV source told The Guardian: “The last five years have been incredible with five bullying investigations in just the one newsroom. It has cost the company a fortune. In total, six people have left with what we believe to be the thick end of £400,000 in settlements to stop them going to employment tribunals. The total time spent off on sick leave or suspensions amounts to five years.
“That is the equivalent of around £250,000 in sick pay just while they were off work. If you add the legal costs, plus all the management consultants, independent investigators brought in and the appeals that went with those investigations, the total bill is £1m.
“When money is so tight and so many people have been made redundant, it is appalling that so much money has been spent and so much talent lost purely because the company failed to tackle this at the start.”
ITV declined to comment.