Scottish Business Pledge - Statistical Overview January 2016

The Scottish Business Pledge is a shared mission between the Scottish Government and businesses, with the goal of boosting productivity, competitiveness, employment, fair work and workforce engagement and development. By making their Pledge companies demonstrate their commitment to shared values and to deliver them through their actions and future plans.
The Pledge has nine elements:

  1. Paying the living wage
  2. Not using exploitative zero hours contracts
  3. Supporting progressive workforce engagement
  4. Investing in youth
  5. Making progress on diversity and gender balance
  6. Committing to an innovation programme
  7. Pursuing international business opportunities
  8. Playing an active role in the community
  9. Committing to prompt payment

Making the Pledge means that businesses:

Meet the core commitment of paying the living wage;
Fulfil at least two other pledge elements now; and
Are committed to delivering all nine elements over the longer term.

Pledge Elements

As at 11 January 2016, 184 businesses had signed up to the Business Pledge. Detail on the individual pledge elements is available for these businesses. The table below shows the number and share of businesses signing up to each of the nine elements.

Pledge Element Businesses % Share
Paying the living wage 184 100%
Not using exploitative zero hours contracts 184 100%
Pursuing international business opportunities 148 80%
Committing to prompt payment 135 73%
Playing an active role in the community 129 70%
Investing in Youth 129 70%
Committing to an innovation program 126 68%
Supporting progressive workforce engagement 119 65%
Making progress on diversity and gender balance 75 41%

Chart 1 below shows that 24 businesses are already fulfilling all nine elements and that 144 businesses (78%) are already fulfilling at least six of the nine elements.

Pledge Businesses

To find out more about the pledge businesses, we have matched the 184 pledge businesses to the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The IDBR is a database of all businesses that are VAT and/or PAYE registered. The IDBR holds information on the activity, ownership, location, employment and turnover of all registered businesses. It was possible to match 172 of the 184 pledge businesses to the IDBR extract from March 2015. An IDBR match could not be found for 12 of the 184 businesses – the main reason for non-match was that the pledge business was relatively new and therefore not on the register yet; it should be possible to find a match in future IDBR extracts.

Analysis of the 172 pledge businesses that could be matched to IDBR shows that:

The pledge businesses collectively provide 39,360 Scottish jobs.
The majority (68%) of pledge businesses are small, employing less than 50 people. However, small firms dominate the overall Scottish economy, making up 96% of all businesses, meaning that the Pledge is being taken up by relatively more medium and large businesses.
Nearly half (47%) of all pledge businesses operate in two broad sectors: ‘Information and communication’ and ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’.
The pledge businesses have a total of 580 business sites (offices, shops, factories, etc) across Scotland.