SCOTTISH firms are failing to address the gender pay gap, a new report has found.

Research by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) found that while nearly all companies surveyed had equal pay policies, only 3% had taken action to tackle the issue.

Currently in Scotland full-time female workers earn 14% less than male staff, while for part-time jobs the difference is a full 35%.

The report was compiled by Emily Thomson, Co-Director of Women in Scotland's Economy Research Centre (WISE) and Morag Gillespie, Senior Research Fellow, Scottish Poverty Information Unit.

Ms Thomson said: "While we found some evidence of employers considering the issue of equal pay in their workforce, there was much less evidence of action being taken to make equal pay a reality.

"This was particularly acute in the private sector."

Commissioned by Close the Gap, an organisation working with employers on gender equality and diversity, researchers found one third of the 182 organisations surveyed had carried out an equal pay review, or were planning future reviews.

Experts believe bosses are missing out on the business benefits of fair and equal workplaces and claim there a high level of complacency from employers.

They attribute pay gaps to three causes: women's lack of career progression; a lack of flexible working at senior levels; and varying pay and reward arrangements for different jobs.

Although some employers have made progress, Close the Gap claims the pace of change is slow.

Emma Ritch, project manager at the organisation, said: "We have piles of evidence that women and men are still having very different experiences of the Scottish workplace, and that some of these differences cost employers money. We are working to support employers to take the steps they need to reap the benefits of increased productivity, better workplace morale, and more creative and profitable Scottish businesses."

Using grants from The Big Lottery Fund, Close the Gap is developing a self-evaluation tool to be piloted with ten organisations that will let companies to look at their practices. Companies will be given support to identify where changing their employment practice could help them deliver on their core business objectives.