Three calls to action for workplace culture have been issued this fortnight:
1. The Equality and Human Rights Commission technical guidance on sexual harassment and workplace harassment – which, among other things, calls upon employers to reduce risks caused by demographic workplace power imbalances to consider steps such as positive action;
2. The FRC Financial Reporting Lab report on workforce-related corporate reporting – following on from the FRC's report on the UK Governance Code, this includes questions that boards should ask themselves about how they are tackling workplace culture; and
3. The FCA's Asset Manager Portfolio Letter – which highlights the importance of good governance, including reporting lines, to fully implement SMCR.
These publications highlight that for 2020 'people risk' continues to dominate the board agenda, as firms look not just to avoid post #MeToo challenge, but also address regulatory requirements and investor ESG focus. One unifying feature: stakeholders, both external and internal, are expecting firms to take proactive, dynamic steps to address workplace culture beyond mere reliance on static policies and procedures.
Please note this blog post was written by a Clifford Chance LLP employee. Clifford Chance LLP is the parent company of Clifford Chance Applied Solutions (CCAS). The content within this post does not constitute legal advice.
"A range of stakeholders have a legitimate interest in companies’ approaches to workforce-related matters, not least the workforce themselves."