More women than men are prosecuted for TV Licence fee evasion. A Government review in 2015 found that the BBC was not operating a discriminatory policy but recommended that it look at the issue in more detail. As a result, the BBC undertook an in-depth review in 2017 and found that underlying societal factors drive this disparity. Changes were subsequently made to TV Licensing processes in an attempt to reduce it.
Earlier this year, the BBC committed to undertaking a second review to better understand why the disparity still exists. Today it publishes the terms of reference for this review.
The review will seek to understand what is driving the disparity today looking at societal factors as well as looking at how TVL operates and whether improvements could be made. Evidence will be gathered from a range of stakeholders.
It will consider how TV Licensing conducts investigations into unlicensed households; and the way prosecutions are brought, including the factors considered in deciding whether or not to prosecute a particular individual. The review will also seek to understand whether TV Licensing could better support customers in paying for their licences.
The BBC is committed to transparency on this issue and the findings of the review will be published as soon as practicable following completion of the process.
Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE has been appointed as Independent Advisor to the review.
She has been an Independent Crossbench member of the House of Lords since 2004 and is the founding Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion and Sport, Modern Slavery and Human Rights.