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Since 1 April 2018, we’ve managed the following devolved taxes, designed and made by the Welsh Government for Wales:
- Land Transaction Tax
- Landfill Disposals Tax
We’re a Civil Service organisation, the first non-ministerial department created by the Welsh Government. We’re passionate about our work, raising revenue to support public services, like the NHS and schools, in communities across Wales.
We’ve innovated a Welsh way of doing tax called ‘Our Approach’. We use this approach to work with taxpayers and others to make sure the right tax is paid at the right time. By working together, we help deliver a fair tax system for Wales.
We’re an agile and multi-skilled organisation, employing around 80 people with skills and experience spanning 14 different professions. We champion innovation, collaboration and shared decision making. And we empower and entrust our people with high levels of responsibility and autonomy.
Following the national lockdown restrictions resulting from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), our people have mainly worked from home during 2021 and 2022.
Our people are highly engaged, ranking highly in the annual Civil Service People Survey every year since we were formed. You can find out more about what our people think about working for us by looking at our most recent People Survey results.
We’re proud to be ranked third across the Civil Service for Inclusion and Fair Treatment from over 100 employers, with our people responding highly to questions such as:
- ‘I am treated fairly at work’
- ‘I think that my organisation respects individual differences’
‘Our Approach’ is made up of 3 Welsh terms: Cydweithio, Cadarnhau, Cywiro, and is inspired by Our Charter, which consists of 8 shared beliefs, values and responsibilities.
- Cydweithio: means ‘to work together’ and carries a sense of working towards a common goal
- Cadarnhau: suggests a solid, robust quality that can be relied on. This is about providing certainty, being accurate and reinforcing trust
- Cywiro: literally means ‘returning to the truth’ and is about the way we work with you to resolve errors or concerns
As civil servants, we also abide by the core values of the Civil Service Code:
Equality at the WRA
Our strategic equality objectives for 2020 to 2024 were developed as part of The Wales Public Bodies Equality Partnership. A partnership we started in April 2019 with Sports Wales and Natural Resources Wales.
This partnership has since grown to include 10 public bodies in total:
- Welsh Revenue Authority
- Sports Wales
- Natural Resources Wales
- Welsh Language Commissioner
- HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales)
- Arts Council for Wales
- National Museum Wales
- HEIW (Health Education Improvement Wales)
- Velindre University NHS Trust
- Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
The partnership pooled resources into creating 5 joint strategic equality objectives and agreeing joint actions and measures for 2020 to 2024. These objectives would be worked on together throughout that period, influencing organisation-specific objectives as appropriate to each body.
The partnership commissioned Diverse Cymru to conduct engagement and consultation on the partnership’s behalf. We held consultation events throughout Wales and had 43 respondents to our consultation document. The results of this were fed into our final objectives.
The partnership’s work and objectives were subject to an Equality Impact Assessment and followed the Future Generation Commissioner’s 5 Ways of Working.
The final objectives and WRA-specific goals are in our first 4-year Strategic Equality Plan and Objectives (2020 to 2024), published in April 2020.
Our Annual Equality Report
Today (31 March 2023), we’re pleased to publish our Annual Equality Report 2023 (covering the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022).
Our equality data
As part of our recruitment process, we collect data on all 9 protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010:
- pregnancy and maternity
- marital status
- religion or belief
- race and ethnicity
- sexual orientation
- gender reassignment
Prospective candidates are asked to complete a self-declaration equality questionnaire when they apply for our jobs; only our HR team has access to this information. Our HR team anonymises and stores the data securely per General Data Protection Regulations.
We collect data on 8 of the 9 protected characteristics for our people. We record 4 protected characteristics on an individual’s HR file:
- pregnancy and maternity
- marital status
Only our HR team and those who support our system can access the above, and we’ve measures to make sure access is only granted for significant business reasons.
We ask our people to self-declare 4 other protected characteristics on their profile on our HR System:
- religion or belief
- disabled status
- race and ethnicity
- sexual orientation
We encouraged our people to use our self-declare option (launched in October 2018). Completion is optional but encourage our people to complete this. Explaining strong data helps us create better people policies and understand how diverse we are as an organisation. Our declaration levels are currently around 75%.
We do not currently record gender reassignment. We believe recording this information in such a small organisation could negatively impact individuals’ privacy, and the data set would be too small to be analysed.
Our tax services
When providing our tax services, we collect data on age of taxpayers paying Land Transaction Tax. We collect this information because it helps us make sure the right amount of tax is paid by the right person. We’re not recording this information for equality purposes.
Other customers include professionals such as solicitors and conveyancers. We’ve looked at what equality data is available already for these professional groups, such as collected by their professional membership bodies and use this to inform our decisions, for example, when completing Equality Impact Assessments.
Unless our customer base changes, such as if we were to take on a new revenue service, we do not expect to directly gather equality data from our customers.
We encourage feedback as much as possible to improve our services.
When receiving complaints, we do not ask anyone to give us diversity data. We believe asking people to complete diversity declaration forms could create barriers to people giving us feedback. We’ll continue to review this approach.
If we receive a complaint that refers to discrimination, or other protected characteristics, it’s recorded and sent to our Chief People and Communications Officer to review. We’ve not had any such complaints so far.
Our approach to privacy during data collection and publication
On 31 March 2022, we employed almost 80 people. Meaningfully interpreting diversity data is difficult in an organisation of our size, where just a small number of individuals can change organisation-wide percentages significantly. It also means we’re unable to publish most of our diversity data relating to the 9 protected characteristics.
As an organisation, we put great importance on protecting people’s privacy and their data in full compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018. This applies to our:
- job applicants
We do not publish data which could reveal an individual’s or a small group of individuals’ identities to protect their privacy. This means we’ll not publish data with groups fewer than 10 people.
We'll publish data where we can, otherwise, we’ll provide a narrative.
We collect data for people who apply for jobs with us and those employed by us. We review our equality data at Tîm Arwain (Executive Team) and our Board. We take what we can from this data to consider how well we’re doing and discuss areas for improvement.
We reviewed the diversity information on our job applicants and current workforce as of 31 March 2022. What we can publish is below:
|Senior Civil Service||---||---|
|Grade 6 and 7||11||---|
|Senior Executive Officer (SEO) and Higher Executive Officer (HEO)||15||15|
|Executive Officer (EO)||---||---|
Men and women are represented at every level of the organisation, from our apprentices to our Board.
Men make up 42% of our organisation, and women 58%. During similar periods, this was broadly in line with the Civil Service, at 45.5% men and 54.5% women.
On 31 March 2022:
- 3 of the 6 members of Tîm Arwain (our Executive Team) were women
- 5 out of 10 members of our Board were female
- proportion of men and women is fairly even across grades, but with more women represented at lower grades
The gender split of our grades is something we keep under review.
Gender pay gap
Since 2017, employers with 250 or more employees have had to publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap.
We’re too small an employer to be required to publish our gender pay gap, but we calculate this annually and present it to our Tîm Arwain for discussion and action.
Our calculations show that our mean and median pay is higher for men than women. The main reason for this, in the reporting period, a higher proportion of women were in grades below our median pay point, which sits within the SEO pay scale. Even though marginally there were more women than men in our top 3 grades. However, in a small organisation such as the WRA, these numbers can change significantly with only few people joining or leaving the organisation.
Our graded pay system is based on either 3 or 4 ‘spine points’ (depending on grade), with our people progressing through the spine points after each year of service until they reach the top spine point of the grade.
We often recruit to the lowest spine point. As we’ve seen more women join us on promotion than men historically, it means more women are in the lower spine points of their grade. This is reducing year on year as women gain length of service and move through the spine points, reducing our gender pay gap.
In 2020 we implemented a new pay on promotion policy to more equally treat our people who’d been in a role on temporary promotion before being made permanent. It’s had a continued positive impact on our gender pay gap.
We’re a small organisation consisting of 14 different professions. Some of those professions are currently dominated by one gender in the UK workforce, such as:
- Digital, Data and Technology (male-dominated)
- Human Resources (female-dominated)
Employees by working pattern and contract type
Our employees by working pattern and gender is too small a data set to publish, however, more women work part-time patterns than men.
We encourage a culture where people can work flexibly and value the impact of role modelling, with both male and female members of Tîm Arwain openly working to flexible working patterns. We:
- are proud to display the Happy to Talk Flexible Working on our website
- advertise all jobs as open for part-time, job share, or flexible workers
- have an open process for applying to work flexibly, and we encourage line managers to talk to their team about the opportunities for alternative working arrangements
- provide the technology so that all our people can work flexibly from home, office or on the move, to help them maintain a work life balance
We employ only a very small number of people on temporary contracts, which is too small a data set to publish. The headcount of temporary and agency workers across the year is within our annual report and accounts.
Employees by age
We have a significantly younger workforce than the wider Civil Service. We’ve provided the data where we can, but some data sets are too small to publish:
|16 to 19||---||0.3%|
|20 to 29||16%||16.6%|
|30 to 39||32%||21.9%|
|40 to 49||32%||22.8%|
|50 to 59||18%||28%|
|60 to 64||---||8%|
In 2021 to 2022, we:
- received 153 job applications
- conducted 57 interviews
- appointed 16 new staff members
We cannot publish any further breakdown of this data. Here are some of our insights:
- gender: more men than women applied for roles with us, and more men than women were also selected for appointment
- age: the majority of applicants were aged 16 to 34 and were also the group most selected for appointment
- ethnicity: 8% of all applications received were from people declaring themselves as an ethnicity other than white
- disability: 12% of all applications received were from people who declared themselves as disabled. This was significantly higher than the previous year. The actual number of disabled applicants may be higher due to applicants not disclosing this information before employment.
- marriage and civil partnership, sexuality, religion or belief: the highest proportion of applicants that stated ‘prefer not to say’ from across all equality questions related to sexuality, at 13%
- gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity: these figures are too small to share or provide a narrative
Our Board is made up of a Chair, the Chief Executive, 5 Non-Executive Directors, 2 Executive Directors and a Staff Elected Member, an employee appointed to the Board through a staff ballot. The Staff Elected Member is a full member of the Board in their own right, sharing their own experience and views, and can be of any grade.
Due to the number of people that make up our Board, most diversity data cannot be published. One area we think is appropriate to share is the gender breakdown of our Board (as of 31 March 2022):
- 5 were female
- 5 were male
We record how many people have completed training, where there’s a cost and can compare that to their diversity characteristics. This is not however an area for concern and something we’ll continue to monitor.
There are some data sets which are too small to publish or to provide a narrative on.
This data is monitored internally by our HR team and regularly reviewed. So far, there’s no cause for concern, but we’ll provide a narrative when we can.
The relevant data is:
- men and women by job held
- people that have left the organisation
- people that have moved internally or applied to do so
- people involved in grievances
- people involved in disciplinaries
Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) and the Socio-Economic Duty
We consider our obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty (the general duty) as set out in:
- The Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011
- The Equality Act (Authorities subject to the Socio-economic Inequality Duty) (Wales) Regulations 2021
This includes removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics and people experiencing socio-economic disadvantage.
The general duty sets out that public bodies in Wales, such as the WRA, must do the following to comply with the general duty:
- assess the likely impact of proposed policies and practises
- assess the impact on any policy or practice we’ve decided to review or revise
- monitor the impact of policies and practices
EqIAs are reviewed by Tîm Arwain or by our Board. This ensures equality is duly considered in strategic decision making. We continue to build on the knowledge and confidence of our people by promoting opportunities to learn about socio-economic disadvantages.
In 2021 to 2022, no EqIA found substantial negative impacts on any group.
Progress against our 2021 to 2022 objectives
Objective 1: increase understanding of equality across our organisation
All of our people have completed equality training as part of their induction. We also provide specific training as needed and other activities, information and events throughout the year to increase awareness. For example:
- senior leaders having reverse mentoring
- promoting equality through sharing videos, articles, training, and lived experiences with our people
- mental health awareness events
- all-staff training on understanding and promoting diversity in our services, such as the Social Model of Disability
We require all recruitment panel members to undertake Civil Service Fair Recruitment training.
Objective 2: better understand the diversity of our customers and our employees
We continue to use publicly available data to understand the diversity of our customers. We use publicly available data and feedback from customers to assess the impacts of our policies and processes on our customers.
Whilst we capture a lot of data about taxpayers for tax returns and payments, none of this data is collected to establish the diversity of our customers. We’re not able to collect diversity data by tax returns. Currently, only age related data is captured on returns, which could provide us with such an analysis.
We’re continually learning about our customers through data analysis, user research, and engagement to improve our services to meet their different needs. Understanding our customer’s needs is and will continue to be an important part of our approach. In terms of obtaining our own diversity data about our customers, we’ll keep this under review.
We’ve continued to develop an understanding of the diversity of our people, as outlined above. We encourage our people to self-declare, and our current declaration rate is approximately 75%, up from around 25% in 2021. We consider this to be a progressive declaration rate and continue to work towards encouraging more people to self-declare through establishing mutual trust and understanding.
Objective 3: increase the accessibility of our published information and end-to-end services, including our tax system
We’ve continued to make positive progress against this objective.
Following an accessibility review of our online services in 2020, we published our Accessibility Statement on GOV.WALES with our plan detailing our changes.
Since then, several improvements have been made during 2021 and 2022 to make our services more accessible. Some of these changes included:
- a new accessible ‘Time to Pay’ form to make it easier for our customers to communicate information to us, and
- a clearer payment schedule to make sure the right amount of tax is paid at the right time
We’ve ensured that our new content is accessible and readable as we can and developed a plan to improve our existing content further. We use an HTML-first approach for our publications, such as this report or our Annual Report and Accounts, as we know this is a more accessible format.
We’ve continued to raise awareness of accessibility and assisted digital support and developed an enhanced support policy for our customers so our people can help those that need extra help.
We provided our people with accessibility training to build accessible services by design and accessibility-test new services before they’re released.
Objective 4: increase the accessibility of our external events
We held no in-person external events in 2021 to 2022 to protect public health.
Our online events consider accessibility learning and how we make these more accessible. For example, we’ve processes in place to provide captions for our online webinars to support customers with hearing loss or deafness.
Objective 5: be considered a fair employer by our people and applicants for our jobs
We’re proud to have ranked third for ‘Inclusion and Fair Treatment’ in the Civil Service People Survey out of over 100 organisations.
During 2021 to 2022, we continued to work towards achieving Level 3 Disability Confident Employer status, the highest available level. We’re proud to have achieved this in November 2022.
We take actions to make our recruitment processes fair and accessible and:
- offer a Guaranteed Interview Scheme whereby disabled applicants who meet the role’s minimum requirements are guaranteed an interview
- offer all new roles as flexible working/part-time/job share by default and display the ‘Happy to Talk Flexible Working’ logo on our recruitment materials and website
- accept job applications in alternative formats
- offer ‘pre-interview accessibility chats’ to everyone attending an interview
- analyse our adverts for gendered language
- recruit online and offer to undertake pre-employment checks remotely to increase inclusion
- offer support through our occupational health provider to both new starters and our current people, along with an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) website and phoneline
- promote the ability to join the Welsh Government’s staff support networks for disabled people and other minoritised groups during induction and on our intranet
- offer display screen equipment (DSE) assessments to all of our people and make it easy to access specialist equipment or reasonable adjustments
- provide opportunities for coaching, mentoring, reverse mentoring
Other actions we took in the period up to March 2022 included:
- signing up for the Zero Racism Wales pledge
- the introduction of ‘candidate information sessions’ to provide greater accessibility to our jobs and support for candidates
- changing what we call our ‘pre-interview chat’ to a ‘pre-interview accessibility chat’ to help remove barriers and make it easier for prospective candidates to discuss their accessibility needs and reasonable adjustments
- promoting the Civil Service Workplace Adjustment Passport process to reduce the burden on people who need adjustments to do their role, making it easier and quicker to implement reasonable adjustments
- offering training on recruitment practises to line managers.
- continuing to review and make improvements to the accessibility of our recruitment web pages, job alerts, documentation and processes, making it easier to apply for jobs with us
Objective 6: remove barriers to joining and thriving in the workforce by encouraging flexible working
Flexible working is considered part of our culture and is valued by our people, with most teams working flexibly. We use the Happy to Talk Flexible Working logo on our job adverts and website. We advertise all our jobs unless there’s a specific business reason not to, as available for part-time, flexible working, or as a job-share.
During 2021 to 2022, our people worked from home most of the time. As a cloud-based organisation, we’ve continued using new technology to improve how we work. Ensuring the wellbeing of our people has been a top priority for our Tîm Arwain (Executive Team).
Some of the actions we took in the period up to March 2022 included:
- guiding line managers on supporting their teams that needed more flexible working arrangements, for example, due to caring responsibilities or home-schooling
- continuing to review DSE assessments and implementing reasonable adjustments, for example, by ordering extra equipment such as laptop risers, or lumber support
- continuing to provide more specialist online assessments where needed
- launching regular wellbeing activities through our Wellbeing Group to promote opportunities for meaningful interactions at work and support our 5 areas of wellbeing
- seeking feedback from new starters to ensure the induction and onboarding experience was the best it could be
- seeking input from our people through pulse surveys to understand better the challenges of working from home and the needs of our people
Objective 7: identify and remove bias and unfairness from our pay system
We’re proud to have been an accredited employer with the Living Wage Foundation since 2020. All our roles are subject to job evaluation to remove bias or unfairness in relation to pay.
We monitor and regularly review our gender pay gap and look for signs of other pay gaps. Though our small size as an employer prevents us from meaningfully calculating an ethnicity or disability pay gap, for example.