The Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large companies and groups in the EU was published in the Official Journal on 15 November 2014. This means that Member States will be required to implement the terms of the Directive into domestic law by 6 December 2016, with companies publishing their first reports in 2017.

Legislative amendments

The Directive makes amendments to the Fourth and Seventh Accounting Directives on Annual and Consolidated Accounts, (Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC respectively) to include new provisions on the disclosure of non-financial information, and new provisions on boardroom diversity.

Scope

The Directive applies to large public-interest entities which exceed, on their balance sheet dates, the criterion of the average number of 500 employees during the financial year.

Disclosures 

Non-financial disclosures will comprise of a statement in the company's Annual Report including material relating to environmental, social and employee-related matters, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters (on a "comply or explain" basis); and

Diversity policy disclosures will comprise of specific information on the company's diversity policy for its administrative, management and supervisory bodies, to be disclosed in the company's corporate governance statement (on a "comply or explain" basis). Information on all aspects of the diversity policy will be required, including age, gender, geographical diversity and educational or professional background.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation conducted a consultation on the implementation into Irish law of the Directive during 2013.