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FTSE 100 companies withholding key information in company reports

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A THIRD of FTSE 100 companies are painting “an inaccurate picture” for their investors by withholding relevant information in their annual reports, including health and safety incidents, data breaches, skills challenges and employee turnover, creating a major risk for shareholders.

According to a joint report from CIMA, the CIPD and the CMI, there has been a significant decrease in the level of transparency on how companies measure and report on their staff.

Valuing your Talent: Illustrating your company’s true value revealed that two in five FTSE 100 companies scaled back the amount information they report on between 2013 and 2015.

The report also showed a big comparison between company reports and media reporting, highlighting the lack of transparency in regards to workforce issues in corporate reports.

For instance, there were three cases of workplace strikes among FTSE 100 companies in the media; two of the strikes were fully reported on in annual reports, one case was not reported at all. In total, there were four cases of employees being involved with insider trading in the media outlets but none of these were recorded in the annual reports.

However, the report shows that banks have increased transparency after the recent financial crisis and PPI scandals.

CIMA, the CIPD and the CMI have now urged firms to disclose important company information to shareholders so they can make important decisions regarding the welfare of staff.

Former business secretary Vince Cable launched the report and said it highlights a “poor understanding of the significance of people related data”, and that there is a need for much greater transparency at FTSE 100 level.

“Having a clearer view of the people in our workforces can only be a good thing; it could lift the lid on our productivity issues and the skills challenges that are preventing so many businesses from reaching their potential,” explained Cable.

In September Big Four accountancy firm EY claimed that disjointed narratives about corporate strategy are squandering an opportunity to boost investor confidence and sullying an otherwise improved set of FTSE 350 annual reports.

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