Corporate governance reform proposals supported by IOSH

13 April 2017

Proposed reforms to the UK Corporate Governance framework can act as a pathway to improved occupational safety and health across business, according to IOSH.

Houses of Parliament

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee has compiled a report into corporate governance failings. It comes in the wake of major failures at organisations including high-street retailers BHS and Sports Direct.

The report recognises the UK’s generally strong system of corporate governance. But it says the pressure on companies to “deliver short-term financial gains for shareholders” means a series of reforms are required to ensure directors “take more seriously their duties to comply with the law and the Code relating to corporate governance”.

These reforms include “more transparency, better reporting, more employee involvement and tougher enforcement”.

The report also supports areas that IOSH recommended in its recent submission to the Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper.

Richard Jones, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at IOSH, said the Institution is encouraged to see the committee’s views align with IOSH’s recent OSH-related recommendations for improved corporate reporting, stronger stakeholder engagement, focus on board member training, a code for privately-held companies, and linking bonuses to broader corporate responsibilities, such as safety and health.

Richard said: “These proposed corporate governance reforms are important ways in which better leadership, effective occupational safety and health and more responsible business practice can be fostered and we urge the Government to give them serious consideration.”

To view the full report and the recommendations, please click here.