BEIS responds to EU non-financial reporting directive

The government is to introduce legislation that will apply the EU non-financial reporting directive to all companies in scope, but will allow those at the boundaries to voluntarily comply with the EU requirements, following a consultation on the issues

The department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS), says it received 76 responses to its consultation, which closed in mid-April. Non-financial information was defined as company policies in areas including environmental risks, social and employee situations, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery issues, and diversity in their board of directors.

The consultation asked about placing non-financial information flexibly and the possible use of the separate report, an option available in the directive. Although many organisations broadly supported increased flexibility within the annual report, there was little support for the option to prepare a separate report.

The government also sought views on two options for the question on the scope of the directive. One was a minimal implementation, and the other to repeal the UK requirements for companies outside the scope. Respondents also suggested extending the requirements to all listed companies as well as those private businesses in scope.

BEIS now says it will introduce legislation that will apply the directive to all companies in scope but allow those at the boundaries to voluntarily comply with the requirements of the directive, to avoid moving between frameworks.

In addition, consultation responses indicated some support for the delivery of annual electronically, and the government says it will clarify legislation in this area and work with the Financial Reporting Council to encourage innovative digital reporting.

Finally, the government’s response states it will ‘explore options around gender reporting with business and other stakeholders to consider how best to fulfil this requirement’.

The non-financial reporting directive, government response to the consultation on the implementation of the directive is here.

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