More than 56,000 workers now employed by Pledge companies.
The number of employees working at companies that have made the Scottish Business Pledge has broken through the 56,000 barrier.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced the employee figure while visiting Aberdeen Asset Management in Edinburgh to congratulate staff on making the Pledge – a partnership to champion inclusive growth and fair employment practices.
Since launching in May last year, multinationals such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson Medical have joined SMEs such as Rabbie's Tours, Made Brave and the Inveralmond Brewery in signing up to the Pledge.
The Pledge has nine components. To join the initiative a business has to be paying the Living Wage and already delivering on at least two other elements while being committed to achieving the rest over time.
Mr Swinney said:
"I am visiting Aberdeen Asset Management today to learn more about how the company has implemented the Scottish Business Pledge, focusing on some of the initiative's key components such as the great work the company's apprentices have recently done to raise money for charity. The company offers another excellent example of the way business, its employees and the surrounding community can work together to boost productivity, competitiveness, employment, fair work and inclusive growth.
"The Scottish Business Pledge is a shared mission between the Scottish Government and business and, less than one year since launching, it is encouraging to note that 56,000 workers in Scotland are now employed by companies that have made the Pledge. This progress is encouraging, but it also highlights that there is much more yet to be achieved and I would encourage businesses across Scotland, whatever size and whatever sector, to learn more about the Pledge and to discover how it can help them to boost productivity while helping Scotland's economy to grow."
Jonathan Loukes, Aberdeen Asset Management's Deputy Finance Director, said:
"Aberdeen is delighted to welcome the Deputy First Minister to our Edinburgh office. We fully support the Scottish Government in its aim to promote sustainable business growth in Scotland and are proud signatories to the Scottish Business Pledge.
"We are also extremely proud of our Apprenticeship Programme, in its first year in Edinburgh. It was great to hear our apprentices talk with Mr Swinney about both the experience and personal development opportunities the programme gives them."
The attached, free-to-use image is of Mr Swinney meeting Aberdeen Asset Management Deputy Finance Director Jonathan Loukes and the company's modern apprentices at Aberdeen Asset Management who have been raising money for charity and therefore showcasing one of the key parts of the Scottish Business Pledge - that companies show community benefit.
239 companies have now made the Scottish Business Pledge.
The Scottish Business Pledge's nine components include paying the living wage, not using exploitative zero hours contracts, supporting progressive workforce engagement and investing in youth. Other aspects include making progress on diversity and gender balance, pursuing international business opportunities playing an active role in the community, a commitment to prompt payment and committing to an innovative programme.