Scottish Business Pledge – Statistical Overview January 2018

Pledge Elements

As at 25 January 2018, 426 businesses had signed up to the Business Pledge – representing 0.2% 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
Paying the living wage 426 100%
Not using exploitative zero hours contracts 426 100%
Pursuing international business opportunities 347 81.5%
Playing an active role in the community 337 79.1%
Investing in Youth 336 78.9%
Committing to an innovation program 334 78.4%
Committing to prompt payment 320 75.1%
Supporting progressive workforce engagement 289 67.8%
Making progress on diversity and gender balance 148 34.7%

As shown in the chart below, 57 businesses are already fulfilling all nine elements and 358 businesses (84%) 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 426 signatory businesses to the Inter-Department Business Register (IDBR). The IDBR is a database of all businesses that are VAT and/or PAYE registered. It was possible to match 382 of the 426 signatory businesses to the IDBR extract from March 2016. An IDBR match could not be found for 44 of the 426 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 382 signatory businesses that could be matched to IDBR shows that:

The majority (66.5%) of signatory businesses were small, employing less than 50 people. However, as small firms make up 96.4% 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 92,230 Scottish jobs, 3.7% of all jobs.
Nearly half (46.6%) of all signatory businesses operated in two broad sectors: 'information and communication' (18.8%) and 'professional, scientific and technical activities' (27.7%). In the overall economy, these sectors make up 5.9% and 18.6% of firms respectively. This may be linked to the fact that higher quality working conditions already exist in these sectors (e.g. better pay), making it easier to make the pledge.
The pledge businesses have a total of 1,195 business sites (offices, shops, factories, etc) across Scotland: one third of these are situated in Glasgow City (17.6%) and City of Edinburgh (15.5%).

1Medium firms account for 16% of pledge signatories and large firms 17.5%; these firms respectively account for 2.2% and 1.4% of the Scottish business base overall.