THE gap between women’s and men’s pay at Dudley Council is still greater than most councils in the West Midlands, a cabinet report has revealed.

Male employees at the authority are on average paid 11 per cent more than their female counterparts – one of the the biggest gaps for authorities in the region.

The average difference between men and women employed by West Midlands councils is 7.8 per cent.

A report to the council's cabinet shows Dudley’s pay difference has remained the same as in 2017 despite assurances given last year that the authority was working to eliminate the disparity.

At that time, the council revealed women earned on average £12.51 per hour compared to men’s £14.11 –  an annual difference of £3,210.

Adrian McCormick, chief officer - transformation and performance, in his report to the cabinet admits the council has not managed to close the gap, saying: “Its gender pay gap for 2018 remains relatively unchanged at 11 per cent. “

Senior officers say the council’s policy of retaining services in-house has meant the pay of low skilled, female staff heightens the difference with other authorities who no longer count such workers as their employees as they are now employed by outside contractors.

But Mr McCormick adds a planned increase for the lowest paid council staff will close the distance between men and women’s salaries.

He said: “It should be recognised that with effect from 1st April 2019 the council becomes a real living wage employer which will impact predominantly on the lower paid employees who are mainly female.

“This will ensure that, with effect from 1st April 2019, they receive a minimum rate of £9 per hour as calculated by the Living Wage Foundation.”

The report will be discussed at the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday March 20.