SOC Investment Group has written to the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Investor Advisory Committee, recommending the group encourage the U.S. regulator to establish mandatory human rights reporting requirements.
This week, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee is issuing recommendations to the U.S. regulator relating to its proposed climate change disclosure rules, as well as potential new ESG disclosure requirements.
SOC commended the committee for adding human capital management disclosure to its meeting agenda, sharing its own recommendations on what could form part of the regulator’s proposed human capital disclosure policy.
“At a minimum,” companies should report on quantitative health and safety performance indicators for their material workforces, including data on fatalities, injuries, and illness rates, the letter reads.
Investors also want to understand what forms of physical and mental health hazards the workforce is exposed to, as well as evidence of board oversight of health and safety.
Companies should disclose the above information on an annual basis, covering the preceding three-year period, the labor union said.
“Companies already collect health and safety data, so there would be minimal cost involved requiring companies to report key health and safety metrics in their reporting through the SEC,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, we do not believe that the publicly available health and safety data are a substitute for the enhanced disclosures investors are looking for.”
Shareholder engagement on human capital management has been steadily rising since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far this year, 17 human rights shareholder proposals have been subject to a vote at U.S.-listed companies, winning 32.9% support, compared to 24.4% and 29.5% average support, respectively, throughout 2020 and 2021, according to Insightia’s Voting module.