Britain’s biggest businesses are failing to disclose important HR data in their annual reports

Britain’s biggest businesses are failing to disclose important HR data in their annual reports


The CIPD published a report, Hidden Figures: How workforce data is missing from corporate reports, which examines the key people management figures across FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) 100 companies. The research has identified that a large amount of FTSE 100 companies are “painting an overly positive picture” of important workforce issues in their annual reports.


According to the research, the number of companies who utilised interns has decreased by 32% between 2015 and 2017. Additionally, the number of companies reporting on employee engagement and employee relations decreased by 21% and 14% during the same period.


The CIPD also learnt only 21% of FTSE 100 companies included their skills gap in their annual report and 12% reported on their skills shortage problems.


However, the report did show the number of apprenticeships had increased by 64% across the businesses. This is believed to have been because of the introduction of the apprenticeship levy in April 2017.


The CIPD’s senior researcher for human capital and governance, Edward Houghton, believes the companies concentrated on complying with legislation and governance codes rather than reporting on other important HR data.


“We need to see much more consistency in what is being reported, the language used to report it and the measurements being applied so all stakeholders get a complete picture of workforce opportunities and risks”. “Without full transparency, there’s a real danger that businesses are painting an overly positive picture of how they manage their people and people risk” stated Houghton.


The CIPD have urged the UK’s largest companies to improve their reporting and transparency on their human capital figures. Failure to disclose this information will keep investors, employees and other parties “in the dark on key business indicators”.


The chief executive of Tomorrow’s Company, Norman Pickavance, said: “There are a lot of businesses that project what they think people want to hear, but society at large doesn’t really trust what businesses are trying to say”.


Pickavance also told People Management he has witnessed a “sense of distrust” when organisations report on people management figures.


The professor of governance and leadership at Henley Business School, Andrew Kakabadse, stated: “If you create rules for reporting, they will be followed, but I doubt they will do much for the company unless you have a gifted CEO who really cares about how this reported and what it means for the company”. This shows the organisations may not fully engage with the issues at hand.


If you need any support or guidance in how to disclose your workforce data, please contact a member of the HPC team:


T: 0844 800 5932


Twitter: @HPC_HRservices


Source via CIPD

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