On 16 February 2016, BIS published a consultation paper requesting feedback on the best approach for implementing the requirements of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (Directive 2014/95/EU) (the “NFR Directive”) into UK law. The aim of the NFR Directive is to bring consistency and conformity across Europe in relation to non-financial disclosure requirements in order to provide investors and other stakeholders with a comprehensive picture of a company’s performance.

BIS has invited feedback on a number of issues, including whether:

  • companies should be permitted to meet the NFR Directive’s non-financial reporting requirements in a separate statement outside the annual report;
  • there should be a reduction in scope of the existing UK non-financial reporting requirements for all quoted companies and a limitation on those required by the NFR Directive; and
  • the UK should require non-financial statements to be independently verified by assurance service providers.

In addition, BIS has consulted on a number of other issues that fall outside the scope of implementation of the Directive, including whether:

  • companies should be permitted to provide their separate non-financial statement on their website and, if so, the additional legislative protections that might be required to facilitate this;
  • the definition of “senior manager” as set out in the Companies Act 2006 should be improved and, if so, how, particularly in relation to requirements for gender balance reporting by quoted companies in their strategic reports; and
  • any existing narrative reporting requirements can be repealed due to being redundant or of little use. The consultation closes to responses on 15 April 2016.

The consultation is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/500760/BIS-16-35-non-financialreporting-directive-consultation-February-2016.pdf