The BBC is to be investigated over suspected past pay discrimination against female employees.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) comes following complaints that female workers were not paid the same as men for equal work.
The BBC has voluntarily provided the EHRC with information about its pay policies. The investigation will look at records dating back to 2016.
The EHRC says it hopes to publish the results by the end of this year.
The BBC’s director general Tony Hall said: “We’ve been through a tremendous period of reform – and have already changed things for the better. The Commission itself recognises our commitment to reform and our collaborative approach.
“We try to be the gold standard of what everyone wants from society – openness, respect and equality. We may not always succeed, but I am confident that we are a decent and fair employer. And, of course, if there’s more we can do, we will.”
The EHRC said it “suspects that there has been unlawful pay discrimination by the BBC… in the period prior to the introduction of these recent reforms.
“The Commission recognises the BBC’s commitment to reform and its desire to work collaboratively in ensuring that the reforms are fully refined and embedded. Against that background, the Commission wishes to review whether such reforms have fully corrected any potential historic unlawful pay discrimination.”
In January, the BBC published a review of on-air pay carried out by PwC, and set out a five-point plan to help create a fairer and more equal BBC.
Those plans included substantial pay cuts for some men and increases for some male and female presenters and greater pay transparency.