Scottish Business Pledge – Statistical Overview October 2017

Pledge Elements

As at 16 October 2017, 399 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 399 100%
Not using exploitative zero hours contracts 399 100%
Pursuing international business opportunities 320 80%
Playing an active role in the community 318 80%
Investing in Youth 307 77%
Committing to an innovation program 304 76%
Committing to prompt payment 294 74%
Supporting progressive workforce engagement 261 65%
Making progress on diversity and gender balance 137 34%

Chart 1 below shows that 50 businesses are already fulfilling all nine elements and that 329 businesses (82%) 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 399 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 352 of the 399 signatory businesses to the IDBR extract from March 2016. An IDBR match could not be found for 46 of the 399 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 353 signatory businesses that could be matched to IDBR shows that:

The majority (66%) of signatory businesses were small, employing less than 50 people. However, as small firms make up 96 per cent 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 88,270 Scottish jobs, 3.6% of all jobs.
Nearly half (45%) of all signatory businesses operated in two broad sectors: 'information and communication' (18%) and 'professional, scientific and technical activities' (27%). In the overall economy, these sectors make up 6% and 19% 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 1,215 business sites (offices, shops, factories, etc) across Scotland.

Medium firms account for 16% of pledge signatories and large firms 18%; these firms respectively account for 2% and 1% of the Scottish business base overall.