The UK's Local Authority Pension Fund Forum has rapped retail group Signet for its slow progress on improving employment standards.
The LAPFF – which comprises 26 pension funds with £45bn in combined assets – wants firms to adopt a policy statement on employment standards as part of its campaign to improve labour standards.
Signet has been one of the four largest retail companies targeted since the campaign began in spring 1999.
LAPFF members raised the matter at the Signet Group annual meeting and raised.
LAPFF vice-chairman and chairman of the £400m London Borough of Newham pension fund, Greg Vincent, said: “It is disappointing that the company was not able to give a timescale for adopting a policy statement on employment standards or even set out how their work on this issue was proceeding.”
Signet considered the issue of overseas employment standards and the board recognised the need for a more integrated approach to social responsibility issues. The company had invited an external consultant to undertake a comprehensive review in order to identify the next steps for the company but in its annual report the company failed to report on any outcomes.
The LAPFF initially sent letters to 50 retail companies in the FTSE All Share Index. It then decided to focus on the four largest companies without an existing policy on labour standards.
Since then, two of these companies - Boots and JJB Sports – have adopted codes of conduct while WH Smith is said to be close to adopting a final policy statement.
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