BBC staff must declare extra paid-for work from January 1

NEWS presenters and senior staff at the BBC will sign up to a new external engagements register from today (January 1), as the broadcaster continues its renewed drive on impartiality.

On-air talent in news and current affairs, sports news and some radio roles – plus senior leaders – must declare earnings from work undertaken outside of the BBC, including public speaking, appearances or writing commitments.

Through a new standardised process, staff must seek written approval from a divisional head of department before signing up to any external engagements.

The move was announced in October as part of a series of measures to ensure the highest standards of impartiality across the organisation. New staff guidance on impartiality and social media use has already been published and new impartiality training will be rolled out from later this month.

The external engagements register comes into force today and data will be collected and held centrally, ensuring consistency. Details of staff activity will be published quarterly, with the first instalment due in April.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Full commitment to impartiality is the bedrock of the BBC and what our audiences expect. 

“We’ve strengthened processes on external work to improve our record keeping, accountability and transparency – and ensure safeguards are in place to protect staff and the whole organisation.”

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