The EWSDGE project has monitored the transposition of Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22nd October 2014 amending Directive 2013/34/EU6 as regards disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by large undertakings and groups (CSR Directive) in the participating Member States. The national coordinators focused on the content of the gender-specific passages of the CSR Directive. Within the framework of the legislation regarding the CSR Directive, the EU has imposed comprehensive reporting requirements on certain large undertakings. The obligation relates solely to large undertakings which are public-interest entities with an average number of 500 employees. Small and medium-sized undertakings are explicitly excluded.
The CSR Directive supplements the Accounting Directive mainly on the annual financial statements with details regarding non-financial and diversity- related information. From 2017 onwards the annual reporting has to include a non-financial statement also regarding social and employee-related aspects and respect for human rights9, taking into account current good practice, international developments and related EU initiatives.
In providing this information, undertakings which are subject to this Directive may rely on national frameworks, Union-based frameworks such as the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), or international frameworks such as the UN Global Compact, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights implementing the UN ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the International Organisation for Standardisation’s ISO 26000, the International Labour Organisation’s Tripartite Declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy, the Global Reporting Initiative, or other recognised international frameworks.
Based on their duty of due care, the CSR Directive requires the targeted undertakings to also include a description of their diversity policy as applied to the administrative, management and Supervisory bodies. The content should, in addition to the various objectives of the diversity policy, include aspects such as age, gender, educational and professional backgrounds in how the policy has been implemented, and the results in the reporting period should be disclosed. The diversity policy information therefore has to include gender-specific information. This does not entail an obligation to introduce a diversity policy. However, companies that do not pursue a diversity policy should provide reasons as to why this is the case Comply or Explain.
No review of the gender-specific statements is foreseen by the legislation. The audit is merely limited to checking whether the above information has been provided at all. The right to stipulate sanctions, in the event of infringements of reporting requirements, continues to be reserved for the Member States as before.
The deadline to transpose the CSR Directive into the national laws of the Member States is 6th December 2016. The transposition provisions should become effective for the first time in financial years starting on or after 1st January 2017.
The CSR Directive does not make provision for active requirements to take appropriate account of women in Executive bodies. Such regulation should follow separately on the basis of the Women on Board Directive.
The national transposition was discussed at the documentation workshop on 6th November 2015 in Cardiff. The national coordinators are of the opinion that the transposition of the CSR Directive will significantly improve the transparency of EU’s largest companies. A well-done and ambitious transposition of the CSR Directive into national law is important and would contribute the overall objective of the EWSDGE project. More transparency and more information on the gender issue combined with a good practice as well as a gender sensitive corporate culture within the companies are an important contribution to pave the way for more women in leadership positions.
Please find below proposals for the national transposition of the CSR Directive 2014/95 in the following EU Member States:
- CSR transposition Belgium EN
- CSR transposition Bulgaria EN
- CSR transposition France FR
- CSR transposition Germany EN
- CSR transposition Germany DE
- CSR transposition Italy EN
- CSR transposition Luxembourg EN
- CSR transposition Netherlands NL
- CSR transposition Spain DE
- CSR transposition Spain ES
- CSR transposition UK EN