Scottish Business Pledge – Statistical Overview July 2019

Pledge Elements

As at 25 July 2019, 650 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 650 100%
Paying the living wage 650 100%
Playing an active role in the community 557 85.7%
Committing to an innovation program 550 84.6%
Committing to prompt payment 543 83.5%
Investing in Youth 522 80.3%
Pursuing international business opportunities 502 77.2%
Supporting progressive workforce engagement 497 76.5%
Making progress on diversity and gender balance 240 36.9%

As shown in the chart below, 106 businesses (16.3%) are already fulfilling all nine elements with the remaining 544 businesses working towards this. Note that overall, 580 business (89.2%) 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 650 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 575 of the 650 signatory businesses to the IDBR extract from March 2018. An IDBR match could not be found for 75 of the 650 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 575 signatory businesses that could be matched to IDBR shows that:

The majority (66.4%) 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 114,640 jobs, 4.6% of all jobs in Scotland.
Nearly half (47.3%) of all signatory businesses operated in two broad sectors: 'Professional, scientific and technical activities' (29.9%) and 'Information and communication' (17.4%); whereas in the overall economy, these sectors make up 17.9% and 5.9% of firms respectively.
The pledge businesses have a total of 1,565 business sites (offices, shops, factories, etc.) across Scotland: over one third of these are situated in Glasgow City (18.5%) and City of Edinburgh (17.3%).

1Medium firms account for 18.8% of pledge signatories and large firms account for 14.8%; these firms respectively account for 2.2% and 1.4% of the Scottish business base overall.