Employers force delay in need to report on people

New corporate reporting requirements due to come into force in the New Year are set to be delayed by at least three months after lobbying from employers over the timing of the changes.

The DTI is expected to reveal a revised timetable in the next few weeks for implementing mandatory operating and financial reviews (OFR) – an overview of strategy, past performance and future prospects – to be published alongside annual reports.

The Government originally proposed that all quoted companies introduce a new OFR section in their annual reports from 2005, to place a greater emphasis on the importance of ‘intangible, largely human assets’.

Companies will have to include employee information in their OFRs – a key recommendation of the Accounting for People Taskforce – or explain why they have not.

If OFRs are not enforced until after 1 April 2005, it will mean that the earliest some firms will publish people information will be May 2006.

The DTI is considering a phased implementation, starting with FTSE 350 companies.

Meanwhile, a report published last week showed that a third of leading companies have ignored one of the key recommendations of the Higgs report on corporate governance by not conducting objective boardroom appraisals.

Consultancy firm Independent Audit analysed the latest annual reports of 85 members of the FTSE 100 and found that only four in 10 appraised their directors.

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