Female staff at Walsall Council are paid almost 10 per cent less than their male colleagues, a report has revealed.

The authority's scrutiny overview committee met on Tuesday (April 23) and was told that the mean pay gap for female council employees was 9.76 per cent lower than men.

But HR bosses said the gap is closing as the average figure had reduced from 13.94 per cent in 2017/18.

There was further good news as the report highlighted that just over 60 per cent of senior management roles are now occupied by females - a rise of 9.76 per cent from the previous year.

Rebecca Wassell, assistant director of human resources, said: "The mean pay gap for females is almost 10 per cent lower than males but that is an improvement on the previous year.  So the gap is closing which is good news.

PA image, stock image of money

"Across the West Midlands, Birmingham City Council has a similar gender pay gap as Walsall.

"Coventry has the lowest gap but they have outsourced a number of services such as catering and cleaning which has had a significant impact."

  

She added one of the contributory factors for a difference in average pay between men and women is a large proportion of part time positions at Walsall Council - roles that are traditionally filled by females.

Walsall Council House
Walsall Council House

Committee member Councillor Doug James said the authority needed to ensure is was addressing differences in pay between male and female workers.

He said: "The pay gap is a great concern to me. As a male councillor I get the same amount as female colleagues."

  

The data was part of an overall 'Equalities in the Workforce' report which also revealed that  20.36 per cent of staff declared themselves as 'minority ethnic - a rise of six per cent over the last five years but less than the 23 per cent recorded in the 2011 Census.

A further 4.37 per cent declared a disability - well below the 10 per cent in the 2011 Census.