By Brian Collett — UK businesses with 500 or more employees must now disclose non-financial information in their annual reports under new EU-directed legislation.
The requirements include information on due diligence actions on all human rights issues, not just human trafficking and forced labour in supply chains, which are already demanded by UK law.
The stipulation, which at present many businesses operate voluntarily, satisfies the non-financial reporting directive imposed on all EU member states.
Ben Rutledge, a business adviser with the Ethical Trading Initiative, a UK-based NGO that campaigns for responsible trade, said: “Not only could these new regulations improve corporate governance across Europe. They also draw attention to important issues beyond the bottom line.
“My hope is that companies that need to report on these non-financial issues will be more likely to factor them into business strategies and risk models.
“There are advantages for shareholders, too. They will have more visibility of these important issues and be in a better position to hold companies to account.”