• Payment practices. The Chancellor has announced in his Spring Statement that the Government intends to require audit committees to review their company’s payment practices and report on them in their annual accounts. The announcement does not specify which companies would be subject to the new requirement. As a matter of law, only companies whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market (such as the London Stock Exchange Main Market) are required to have an audit committee, although many other publicly traded companies choose to have one. The new measure would be separate from the existing requirement on large companies under the Payment Practices Regulations to report via a central Government portal on how promptly they pay their invoices.
  • Bribery. A House of Lords Select Committee has published a report on whether the Bribery Act 2010, which came into force on 1 July 2011, is achieving its purpose. The report concludes that the Act is an “excellent piece of legislation”, but that the Ministry of Justice’s guidance on the Act could provide more detailed advice to organisations (particularly in relation to corporate hospitality). Our colleague, Aalia Datoo, explains more in her blog.
  • Modern slavery. The Government has published a summary guide to help organisations identify whether they need to produce a slavery and human trafficking statement under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. The summary sits alongside the Home Office’s statutory guidance on transparency in supply chains, which provides more detail on section 54 statements.
  • Financial reporting. The Financial Reporting Council’s Financial Reporting Lab is seeking views on the reporting topics it should select for the next few years. The survey, which takes the form of an on-line questionnaire, is open until 12 April 2019.