The BBC is asking its entire staff about their sexual orientation and religion, reportedly as a result of the controversial Equality Act.
The ‘diversity census’, as it has been dubbed, will be carried out by pollsters IpsosMORI and is said to cost “less than £10,000″.
One BBC source criticised the survey as “more box ticking”.
An email has reportedly been sent to staff about the survey, saying the Corporation wanted to “understand better the diversity of BBC employees”.
The email said: “The more we understand about the diversity of our staff, the better placed we are to offer an inclusive workplace.”
IpsosMORI had been hired because the polling company was used to handling “sensitive data”.
In 2006 BBC journalist Andrew Marr said the Corporation is a “publicly-funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people”. It is “not impartial or neutral”, he said.
Mr Marr commented that: “It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”
In January this year, former BBC newsreader Peter Sissons said Christians are “fair game” for insults at the broadcaster whilst Muslims must not be offended.
Last year presenter Simon Mayo said religion is “increasingly driven to the margin” on the BBC.
And in 2009 BBC radio host Jeremy Vine said that he believes Christ is who he says he is, but he does not think he could say so on air.
Also in 2009 former Radio 2 religious programme host Don Maclean said the broadcaster is “keen on Islam”.
Mr Maclean said: “you don’t see any programmes on Anglicanism that don’t talk about homosexual clergy and you don’t see anything on Roman Catholicism that doesn’t talk about paedophiles.
“They seem to take the negative angle every time. They don’t do that if they’re doing programmes on Islam. Programmes on Islam are always supportive.”
Under the Equality Act, expensive equality assessments are required to be carried out in the workplace.
It was revealed in January this year that under the Act the Department of Energy and Climate Change examined whether homosexuals in civil partnerships had been unfairly treated by the suspension of a £300 million home insulation scheme.
The Department of Transport issued a study into harassment and discrimination on ships and hovercraft of various groups, including transsexuals.
And the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) investigated the impact boosting fish stocks would have on, among others, the Chinese and Welsh speakers.