Scottish Business Pledge – Statistical Overview April 2019

Pledge Elements

As at 29 April 2019, 624 businesses had signed up to the Business Pledge – representing 0.4% of the Scotland’s registered business base. The table below shows the number and share of businesses signing up to each of the nine pledge elements.

Pledge Element Businesses % Share
Not using exploitative zero hours contracts 624 100%
Paying the living wage 624 100%
Playing an active role in the community 533 85.4%
Committing to an innovation program 523 83.8%
Committing to prompt payment 516 82.7%
Investing in Youth 498 79.8%
Pursuing international business opportunities 484 77.6%
Supporting progressive workforce engagement 471 75.5%
Making progress on diversity and gender balance 236 37.8%

As shown in the chart below, 103 businesses (16.5%) are already fulfilling all nine elements with the remaining 521 businesses working towards this. Note that overall, 553 business (89%) are already fulfilling at least six of the nine elements.

Businesses signing up to the Pledge

To find out more about the signatory businesses, we have matched the 624 signatory businesses to the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The IDBR is a database of all businesses that are VAT and/or PAYE registered. It was possible to match 553 of the 624 signatory businesses to the IDBR extract from March 2018. An IDBR match could not be found for 71 of the 624 businesses – the main reason for non-match was that the signatory business was relatively new and therefore not on the register yet.

Analysis of the 553 signatory businesses that could be matched to IDBR shows that:

The majority (66.2%) of signatory businesses were small, employing less than 50 people. However, as small firms make up 96.3% of firms within the Scottish economy, proportionately more medium and large firms had signed up to the Pledge than these firms' share of the Scottish business base.1
The signatory businesses collectively provide 112,510 jobs, 4.5% of all jobs in Scotland.
Nearly half (47.7%) of all signatory businesses operated in two broad sectors: 'Professional, scientific and technical activities' (30.0%) and 'Information and communication' (17.9%); whereas in the overall economy, these sectors make up 17.9% and 5.9% of firms respectively.
The pledge businesses have a total of 1,505 business sites (offices, shops, factories, etc.) across Scotland: over one third of these are situated in Glasgow City (18.6%) and City of Edinburgh (17.6%).

1Medium firms account for 18.6% of pledge signatories and large firms account for 15.2%; these firms respectively account for 2.2% and 1.4% of the Scottish business base overall.