News Blast - Transition Deadline Extension

The new refreshed business pledge was introduced in 2019 after a review in 2018.

The review introduced two new elements with a new menu-based approach to help businesses tailor their Business Pledge to the elements that work best for their business.

The Business Pledge now features three core elements; payment of the Real Living Wage, Action to address the Gender Pay Gap (new) and no inappropriate use of Zero Hour Contracts.

The deadline to update your original application and endorse the additional core criteria as a Member of the Scottish Business Pledge has been extended to 1 September 2021 due to the continuous economic impact that Coronavirus is having.

To ensure your Business Pledge commitment is current, please complete the Scottish-Business Pledge Transition Form – Nov 2019  and send us information about how you meet the new core element relating to the Gender Pay Gap.

Gender Pay Gap

The additional Pledge criteria that the Scottish Government is inviting your business to endorse is equal treatment in the workplace of men and women.   This is often referred to as the Gender Pay Gap but does not only concern wage matters.

As a member of the Scottish Business Pledge Network, it is important for leading businesses that are part of the Network begin looking at what can be done to ensure men and women are treated equally in the workplace.  Especially when official statistics show that women have been disproportionately impacted by coronavirus in workplaces and men have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus in terms of health.

To meet the element and transition to the new criteria, your original application should reflect that:

  • Your business is taking steps to assess if there are any differences between how men and women are offered opportunities in your workplace/s and what these may be
  • Your business is committed to take steps to level the opportunities for both genders in the workplace and is planning activity to achieve that
  • Your business intends to develop an action plan over time (dependent on size of your company) and, for organisations with 250+ employees, the plan will be published

From the above points, you may see that making plans to endorse the Gender Pay Gap is different to the Equal Pay Act (1970).  It is more about addressing equality of opportunity between women and men within the workplace and we will be doing special events in 2021 to help support your business to transition and endorse the new Scottish Business Pledge.


Support on offer to businesses from Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting you through the impacts arising from coronavirus on your business and has developed a range of advice and support.  This is available at:

The information is updated frequently as new information becomes available.  There is also a separate HMRC helpline on tax issues at 0800 015 9559 and updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website