Scottish Business Pledge – Statistical Overview January 2019

Pledge Elements

As at 22 January 2019, 577 businesses had signed up to the Business Pledge – representing 0.3% 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 577 100%
Not using exploitative zero hours contracts 577 100%
 Playing an active role in the community 485 84.1%
Committing to an innovation program 475 82.3%
Committing to prompt payment 469 81.3%
Investing in Youth 454 78.7%
Pursuing international business opportunities 450 78.0%
Supporting progressive workforce engagement 423 73.3%
Making progress on diversity and gender balance 221 38.3%

As shown in the chart below, 93 businesses (16.1%) are already fulfilling all nine elements with the remaining 484 businesses working towards this. Note that overall, 505 business (88%) 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 577 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 513 of the 577 signatory businesses to the IDBR extract from March 2017. An IDBR match could not be found for 64 of the 577 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 513 signatory businesses that could be matched to IDBR shows that:

The majority (65.7%) 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 108,905 jobs, 4.4% of all jobs in Scotland.
Nearly half (46.2%) of all signatory businesses operated in two broad sectors: 'Professional, scientific and technical activities' (28.7%) and 'Information and communication' (17.5%); whereas in the overall economy, these sectors make up 17.9% and 5.9% of firms respectively.
The pledge businesses have a total of 1,430 business sites (offices, shops, factories, etc.) across Scotland: over one third of these are situated in Glasgow City (18.5%) and City of Edinburgh (17.5%).

Medium firms account for 18.9% of pledge signatories and large firms account for 15.4%; these firms respectively account for 2.2% and 1.4% of the Scottish business base overall.