Company Reporting: Reforms Come Into Force

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New requirements on narrative reporting for UK companies came into force today (Tuesday October 1st). Annual reports must now include information about a company’s strategic thinking, human rights approach, gender representation and greenhouse gas emissions.

The reforms are part of an update to the Companies Act, which states annual accounts must contain more narrative reporting. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said the changes would simply and strengthen company reporting and give shareholders greater powers to hold quoted companies to account. The main changes to narrative reporting include:

  • The introduction of a ‘strategic report’ – this will help companies “tell their story”, outlining their strategy and business model and addressing risks and challenges they have faced and expect to face
  • An overview of gender representation at board level, in senior management and across the company as part of an effort to focus on board diversity
  • Disclosures on greenhouse gas emissions
  • Information on human rights issues that could affect the business

“Because some historical reporting requirements have been removed, there is no overall increase in the burden on business as a result of these changes,” the Government said. Our Employment team provides advice on the employment policies and equality issues, while our corporate and commercial team can advise on companies’ responsibilities under the Companies Act update. Call us on 08456 381381 or email or