Neath Port Talbot Council has become the first local authority in Wales to sign up to the FairPlay Employer scheme to help tackle its gender pay gap.

Chwarae Teg, Wales’s leading gender equality charity, launched the FairPlay Employer scheme to support organisations in achieving a gender balance, greater diversity and to reduce their gender pay gaps. Through the scheme, Chwarae Teg will work with the Council to understand what issues could be contributing to the pay gap and identify ways to address these issues. This will include ongoing support to address areas such as recruitment, modern working practices, staff engagement and inclusion.

The starting point is for all employees to complete an anonymous survey about what it is like to work for the Council. The survey is administered by Chwarae Teg to ensure transparency and will give them a better understanding of the organisation and what it is like to work for us. The results of the survey will be used to enable the Council to identify where it is performing well and where improvements can be made.

Councillor Doreen Jones, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services & Equality, said: “We are delighted to have signed up to the FairPlay Employer scheme.

“One of the key objectives in our Strategic Equality Plan is to better understand the reasons for the gender pay gap and to identify any actions we can take to reduce it. Having a diverse workforce is vitally important to our success and we recognise the importance of developing policies and practices to support this.

“We will be working closely with Chwarae Teg to ensure all of our employees, regardless of gender, have an equal opportunity to thrive.”

Alison Dacey, FairPlay Employer Partner, Chwarae Teg, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Neath Port Talbot Council to the FairPlay Employer Service, particularly as the first local authority in Wales – they are leading the way. By working with us to identify and tackle barriers and inequalities the council can take action to achieve the real benefits of a truly balanced workforce.”

The gender pay gap shows the difference in the average pay between all men and women in a workforce. This is different to equal pay that deals with the pay difference between men and women who carry out the same job. The current gender pay gap for Neath Port Talbot Council is at 4.21%, significantly lower than the Welsh figure of 15%.