Tim Davie, the BBC's director general, has been forced to clarify new rules on attending Pride and Black Lives Matter marches amid a growing staff backlash against his crackdown on "bias".
The broadcaster issued guidance on Wednesday instructing employees to avoid "public demonstrations or gatherings about controversial issues" as part of reforms to stifle accusations of partiality.
Rules intended to quell public criticism of the BBC sparked outcry over fears employees would be barred from attending LGBT events.
Mr Davie was forced to issue a clarification on Friday, saying that there was no ban on "clearly celebratory" and non-politicised events and fears about Pride were the result of "inaccurate commentary".
He said those working in news and current affairs had to be cautious about events that could be "deemed political or controversial".
But employees are confused by what could be ruled too politically charged by managers, and some have discussed strike action to protest against feared limits on free expression and assembly.
They are unsure about whether supporting Black Lives Matter would be anathema, while a Pride parade would be permissible, or whether LGBT gatherings could be politicised by transgender issues or LGBT policy in Northern Ireland.
Ordinarily innocuous football preferences could also become more contentious in heated sectarian circumstances, some have suggested.
"It's massively confusing," one senior member of staff told The Telegraph. "It's still unclear if news staff can attend Prides. There is a good deal of anger, not only among LGBT staff. As a journalist, you have to take your authentic self to work and be seen to take a stand for inclusion and against injustice."
There was outcry after the BBC issued rules to curb "virtue signalling" and overt support for specific causes in a bid to dampen accusations of political bias, with concerns that seemingly innocent events like Pride could be banned.
But Mr Davie told staff on Friday: "Attending Pride parades is possible within the guidelines. Due care needs to be given to the guidance and staff to ensure that they are not seen to be taking a stand on politicised or contested issues."
One source said this clarification only "made things worse", and the definition of what is politicised is open to broad interpretation by managers charged with advising staff on potential controversy.
Black Lives Matter support may be unacceptable after the BBC banned staff wearing support badges on air, but support for less obvious causes, such as stem cell research, could be contentious in a religious context.
Some senior members of staff at the BBC are understood to be angry with new rules and to have discussed protest action and employment tribunals.
Other employees, however, have welcomed the changes, telling The Telegraph that they are "common sense" measures to ensure that the BBC is seen as politically neutral.
Mr Davie said: "Protecting the BBC's impartiality is core to everything we do. We must ensure that we avoid doing anything that endangers audience perceptions of the BBC's impartiality and to protect the ability of staff in news and current affairs to report fairly and impartially."