Scottish Business Pledge


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The Scottish Business Pledge is a voluntary commitment by companies in Scotland to adopt fair and progressive business practices in support of our shared ambition to drive competitiveness and tackle inequalities. Through this collaborative approach the Pledge provides a mechanism to recognise and celebrate the achievements and ambition of businesses operating in Scotland. In return, the public sector will help them achieve their own business objectives and contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth across the country.

The Scottish Business Pledge has nine components:

  • – Paying the living wage
  • – Committing to an innovation programme
  • – Pursuing international business opportunities
  • – The appropriate use of zero hours contracts
  • – Supporting progressive workplace policies
  • – Supporting Invest in Youth
  • – Making progress on gender balance and workplace diversity
  • – Playing an active role in the community
  • – Paying suppliers promptly.

How can businesses get involved? 

Along with the core commitment to the Living Wage, at least two other commitments qualify businesses to sign up to the Scottish Business Pledge. It is up to businesses to decide which other elements they already satisfy.

But this is not just about achieving the minimum number of Pledge commitments; it is an aspirational scheme that encourages businesses to achieve all elements of the Pledge over time. Businesses have the scope to demonstrate how they best meet the commitments. What is important is the journey.

What exactly is involved? 

Now that it has been officially launched on 26th May, businesses can sign up to the Pledge online via a new dedicated website, providing their own evidence of achievement against the nine individual elements.

Do businesses signing up to the Pledge get any preferential support? 

The Pledge is voluntary and there is no obligation or requirements for businesses to sign up to it in order to gain access to business support programmes.

However, there are strong business reasons why embracing the principles of fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation make sense for individual companies- as well as Scotland’s society and economy. It is our role to highlight the business benefits, closely aligned with our economic development role.

Businesses signing up to the Pledge can benefit through an enhanced employer brand and reputation. They will also receive materials enabling them to display the Scottish Business Pledge logo on their website and marketing literature.

Who’s already signed up to the Pledge? 

For an up to date picture of which businesses have signed the Pledge, visit the Pledge Wall page of the the Scottish Business Pledge website here. 

What is Business Gateway’s role? 

Business Gateway, as a Local Government service, supports the delivery of the Pledge given its close alignment with the desire of Council Leaders to see increased productivity and competiveness in Scottish businesses and to tackle inequality. These are goals and objectives embedded in Council’s economic strategies and Single Outcome Agreements which in turn contribute to delivery of Scotland’s Economic Strategy. We have an important role to play in promoting the benefits to the Scottish Business Pledge to companies and building a fairer Scotland as we help grow businesses, sectors and the economy.

What’s the process for signing up to the Pledge? 

The website provides the route for companies to sign up, and has been designed to make it as easy as possible for companies to demonstrate how they meet each element. The Pledge is intended to be largely self-managing, with companies identifying themselves how they meet its requirements.

Companies won’t be subject to any onerous monitoring by the Scottish Government, Local Government or other public sector organisations. Instead, a survey of Pledge signatories will take place every two years to capture the progress and any additional support needs businesses may have.

To find out more information, please visit the Scottish Business Pledge website here.




january, 2019

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