More than 600 women paid less than men doing similar council jobs are finally set for settlements.

Earlier this year we revealed that North Ayrshire Council had the highest percentage of claims made for equal pay in Scotland, with one in 20 remaining unresolved.

The cases were originally brought when a job evaluation found that women were being paid less than men for equivalent jobs, sparking a rush of compensation claims.

Subsequent attempts to provide a scheme to limit the amount of pay reduction faced by male workers over a three year period was also deemed discriminatory, with a further tranche of claims made.

The council says it is now ready to settle the 95 per cent of remaining claims. For a number of years the council indicated how much it had set aside for settling claims.

The position on equal pay was outlined to the audit and scrutiny committee this month, after they had sought more information from finance chief Laura Friel.

And councillors have sought further detail after she admitted that the council had not kept detailed records of claims on the basis that it wasn’t officially required.

In the meeting minute it was stated: “The implementation of the Scottish Joint Council pay and grading scheme in 2007 that did not require, at that time, records to be retained in respect of the number of claims received and therefore precluded the provision of robust information to the Accounts Commission on the costs of compensation payments by North Ayrshire Council.”

It adds “605 current claims that are at an advanced stage and will be settled as soon as the Memorandum of Understanding, which is with the claimants’ solicitors, is signed.”

In a separate report, it was revealed that the ratio of women to men in council jobs weighed in favour of men when it comes to higher pay grades.

The most recent figures - for 2016 - show that three-quarters of council staff are female.

This ratio is representatives of the lower paid jobs. However, a greater percentage of the male workforce are found in the higher officer roles - albeit less in number than women.

However, there were still more female ‘chief officers’ (9) than male (7).