75% 'Support Equal Pay Requirement'

18 June 2014, 06:16 | Updated: 18 June 2014, 06:18

The majority of people would welcome a requirement for large private sector employers to ensure pay equality, a poll has found.

The Survation poll, on behalf of Scottish Green MSPs, found 75.7% of people support the idea, and of those 51.2% said they "strongly'' support it.

It found 21.7% of people neither support nor oppose the requirement, while 1.1% "somewhat'' oppose it, and 1.5% "strongly'' oppose it.

The poll asked 1,000 people: "If Scotland had responsibility for these laws would you welcome the idea of large private sector employers also being required to ensure pay equality?''

The results indicate that women are keener on the idea, with 56.8% saying they strongly support it compared to 45.2% of men.

Figures from equality organisation Close the Gap state that on average, women earn 13% less than men in full-time jobs, and almost 34% less in part-time jobs.

Equal pay laws are currently reserved to Westminster.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone said: "It's clear there's a very strong desire among Scots for action to close the shameful pay gap between men and women.

"The opportunity we have in September is to take responsibility for this issue here in Scotland and make big employers do the right thing.

"We already know that fairness matters more than wealth in the independence debate, and I believe we have a greater chance of achieving that fairness if we decide for ourselves rather than leave it to Westminster.''