Written answers

Wednesday, 17 May 2023

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

EU Regulations

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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66. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will set out the mechanisms in place in his Department to ensure full corporate compliance with the EU’s Disclosure of Non-Financial and Diversity Information by certain large undertakings and groups (Regulations 2017 – DI no 360 of 2017); if he will indicate compliance and non-compliance levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23498/23]

Photo of Dara CallearyDara Calleary (Mayo, Fianna Fail)
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The European Union (Disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large undertakings and groups) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 360 of 2017), require certain large companies with greater than 500 employees to report annually on non-financial and diversity information.

A Bank, insurer, listed company on a main EU stock market or a public limited company that exceeds the employment threshold must report annually on their policies on environmental, social and governance matters in either the directors' report or a separate statement that is publicly available. If they do not have such policies they must explain why they do not. Large traded companies must report on diversity matters in their corporate governance statement or explain why they do not.

Firstly, it is the responsibility of the directors' of the companies concerned to comply with the reporting obligations under the Regulations. Secondly, the statutory auditor must also establish that the information is contained either in the directors' report, a separate statement or corporate governance statement as applicable or to state in the audit report that it has not be provided. Finally, failure to comply with the obligation to disclose information under the Regulations is an offence in Irish law. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of up to € 5,000 and/ or a term of imprisonment of no more than 6 months. Enforcement is a matter for the Corporate Enforcement Authority.

I am not aware of any prosecutions in relation to the above matters. 

As the Deputy may also be aware the EU rules for Non-Financial reporting have been substantially revised by the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive which expands the scope of the existing non-financial reporting rules and introduces new mandatory reporting standards.  Work is underway in my Department to transpose the new rules.


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