New measures to improve transparency and gender balance in narrative reporting in corporates will come into force in October 2013, BIS has announced.
The changes will come into effect at the same time as changes to voting and reporting on pay.
Following the Lord Davies’ review of Women on Boards, companies will now be required to report the number of women and men within their organisation, both overall and in senior executive positions.
A separate report also sets out how the existing business review will be replaced, allowing shareholders to find out about a company’s strategy, the risks it faces, performance and the direction it is taking.
Business Minister, Jo Swinson said: “It’s widely acknowledged that the UK leads the world in standards of annual reporting, and that those standards are rising every year. However, over a period of years reports have become longer, more complex and increasingly difficult for shareholders to navigate.
“There are many examples of excellent reporting, but there is still room for improvement. Today’s reforms will encourage companies to produce innovative and engaging reports, in line with current business best practice.
“And requiring them to disclose the number of senior women in the organisation will persuade companies to pursue greater diversity and develop the pipeline of talent, helping drive a long-term culture change at the heart of business.”