FTSE 100 companies are falling short in reporting workforce issues despite increased public scrutiny and regulatory focus on disclosure, research by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) and the High Pay Centre reveals.
The research paper - Hidden Talent Part 2: Has workforce reporting by the FTSE 100 improved?, published today - reviewed disclosure practices in the annual reports of the largest listed UK companies to December last year. It builds on a similar report based on research conducted in June 2017.
The report found that, although companies were found to be falling short in many areas of workforce reporting, there were instances where it had improved.
These included more reporting of aggregated turnover rate, which was 31% as of December 2018, compared to 18% in June 2017. In addition, reporting on the proportion of full- and part-time staff had increased by seven percentage points from 4% to 11%; and evidence of motivation and commitment towards corporate goals was also up, from 30% to 54%.
Reporting on some important issues that have gained attraction in recent policy debates is relatively rare. For example, just 3% of companies disclose mental health sickness rates and the ethnicity pay gap sits, while only 7% of firms disclose age diversity.
The report also found that:
- More than half (51%) of FTSE-100 companies report the gender pay gap at the director and managerial level and 52% report this at the whole-of-workforce level.
- Blue chip companies reporting time lost to injuries rose to 31% in December 2018 from 26% in June 2017.
- Disclosure of the level of employee share ownership also improved from 5% to 18%.
- The majority of companies (81%) now report on supply chain ethics in their annual statements.
Commenting on the report, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee chairwoman and MP Rachel Reeves said: "We look to [pension schemes] to engage positively and drive good corporate governance. I believe there is a strong link between good governance and strong performance, and the evidence bears this out."
PLSA policy lead in investment and stewardship Caroline Escott added: "High-quality workforce reporting is key to better outcomes for companies, investors and workers. Therefore, investors, policymakers and civil society must continue to push companies to provide better information in these areas."
Nest head of responsible investment Diandra Soobiah said: "This report is a wake-up call for those FTSE 100 companies who are not being transparent enough on how they're investing in and supporting their workforce.
"This is important because a company's workforce is a key driving force for long-term success."
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