Increasingly, the "S" in ESG is a focus for businesses - with concerns such as modern slavery, anti-corruption, equality and pay transparency becoming core compliance issues – and with significant penalties for getting it wrong.
Employment issues are central to your organisation's ESG agenda. Many recent corporate scandals have been rooted in employment-related issues, such as controversies over working conditions in supply chains and #metoo complaints.
Moving beyond investors' concerns over "sin stocks", there is an increasing desire for ethical investments and this extends to other stakeholders - influencing the products and services consumers wish to buy and the companies employees want to work for. And there is an increased focus on the "Social" in businesses' ESG objectives, from equality and diversity to modern slavery, employee and worker rights, and health and safety.
Governance is a critical third limb. You need to take your workforce and Board with you in order to deliver your ESG plan - including ensuring Board diversity, setting performance goals and devising appropriate incentives. In addition, many of the issues are or will be backed up with legal requirements, including pay gap and modern slavery reporting and the government's proposal to introduce a legal obligation to prevent sexual harassment.
We help proactive employers who want to develop a more sustainable business model through advising on their employment framework. Our advice is wide-ranging and includes helping to shape their employee terms and benefits to improve working practices, inclusivity and diversity. We also advise on reshaping policies and procedures with a greater focus on ESG.