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PLSA invites FTSE 100 chairs for workforce data, governance talks

The UK’s occupational pension fund association has invited the chairs of the UK’s largest listed companies to meet with pension schemes to discuss their reporting on employment models and working practices.

In a letter to FTSE 100 chairs, Julian Mund, chief executive of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), said investors believed a company’s workforce was critical to its long-term success, but that the association’s research had found that many FTSE 100 companies did not go beyond minimum statutory requirements when reporting on workforce practices.

“It is the PLSA’s aim that these discussions will help UK companies to lead global best practice in relation to workforce disclosure and governance,” said Mund.

“It is only through working together on this issue that investors and companies can both deliver significant improvements to millions of working lives as well as delivering better returns to investors – and pension scheme members – over the long term.”

Some UK pension schemes are also calling for better workforce reporting via an initiative co-ordinated by campaign group ShareAction.

Julian Mund

“It is the PLSA’s aim that these discussions will help UK companies to lead global best practice in relation to workforce disclosure and governance”

Julian Mund, chief executive, PLSA

The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) brings together more than 120 asset managers and asset owners to ask listed companies to provide information relating to diversity, wages, health and safety, and other aspects of workforce practice.

More than twice as many companies filled in the 2018 survey than the first WDI survey, although that left more than 400 that did not. According to the WDI, at least some of the non-participating companies often cited “a confidence in their existing public reporting that is not shared by WDI investor signatories”.

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