2017-2020 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
Pillar II: The corporate responsibility to respect human rights
Non-financial Reporting: Implementation of Directive 2014/95/EU to the Issue of Non-financial Reporting [page 30]:
Since January 2017, it has been mandatory for a certain group of companies to disclose information regarding the application of human rights policies in business practice in connection with the transposition of Directive 2014/95/EU into Polish law.
Directive 2014/95/EU on disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large enterprises and groups came into force on 6 December 2014. EU Member States had two years to transpose the directive into national law.
It is estimated that the provisions will affect about 6,000 entities in the European Union, while in Poland some 300 enterprises may be required to disclose non-financial data. In Poland, the Ministry of Finance was responsible for the transposition. The Act of 15 December 2016 amending the Accounting Act was published on 11 January 2017 in the Journal of Laws (Journal of Laws 2017, Item 61) as a transposition of the above-mentioned Directive with respect to disclosure of extended non-financial information. The Act came into force on 26 January 2017 and will apply for the first time to reports prepared for the financial year beginning on or after 1 January 2017.
The implemented provisions of the Directive aim to increase the transparency of information with respect to corporate social responsibility (CSR) presented in management reports (in the form of a statement) or in separate reports as regards environmental, social, and occupational issues, respect for human rights, and anticorruption measures. New reporting obligations are addressed to large entities and generally include those that primarily operate in the financial sector, including banks, insurance companies, issuers of securities, and large capital groups.
Under the Directive and its transposed law, the companies subject to this obligation may apply any national, EU, or international reporting standards or guidelines, including their own rules.
2021-2024 NATIONAL ACTION PLAN
|2-Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy
Accessibility Plus Programme
In the years 2021-2027, initiatives launched in previous years will be continued. In order to provide architectural advice to entrepreneurs, it is planned to launch five accessibility knowledge centres at higher education institutions. Also in 2021, another important process introduced by the Act on ensuring accessibility was launched. The process of reporting on the state of accessibility by public entities began which entailed an obligation on the part of said entities to draw up – by 31 March 2021 – a brief report on the state of play as regards ensuring their accessibility. They will be subject to a reporting obligation every four years. The data from the reports will be aggregated at the voivodeship level and nationwide, providing an overview on the issue of accessibility of the public sector in Poland. – page 8
Responsible business – promoting due diligence standards
The issue of due diligence in the field of human rights will also be of particular interest to the Advisory Board for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility in view of the legislative changes planned at the EU level as regards due diligence in the area of human rights and environmental issues, as well as in the field of non-financial reporting covering, among others, issues concerning the respect for human rights. Monitoring the directions of legislative changes in non-financial data reporting planned at the EU level, as well as work in areas related to non-financial reporting, constitutes one of the tasks of the Working Group on the Development of Non-financial Reporting established on 31 March 2021. – page 10
5. Ministry of Finance
Revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive
The Ministry of Finance is participating in legislative work at the EU level, which commenced after the presentation of the Commission’s proposal on 21 April 2021 and the transmission of all national language versions of the draft legislation, i.e. the draft directive as regards corporate sustainability reporting [COM(2021) 189], to the Member States on 16 June 2021. The Commission’s legislative proposal considerably broadens the scope of entities covered by non-financial reporting – according to the Commission’s estimates from about 12,000 companies to 49,000. Furthermore, the draft clarifies the scope of the reported information, also giving it a new name: sustainability reporting. The key changes proposed in the area of sustainability reporting include:
a. extending the scope of entities subject to sustainability reporting obligation to:
i. all large companies,
b. clarifying the scope of sustainability information to be reported;
c. empowering the EC to adopt uniform European standards on sustainability reporting obligatory for reporting entities; the full standard would be obligatory for large companies, while its simplified version – for small and medium-sized listed companies;
d. removing the possibility to report non-financial information in a separate report that is not part of the management report;
e. introducing an obligation to verify sustainability information;
f. introducing an obligation for companies subject to such reporting to prepare financial statements and management reports in the same format as issuers are obliged to use, i.e. the European Single Electronic Format (ESEF). – page 23
9. Ministry of State Assets
Best practices for WSE-listed and State Treasury (ST) companies
There are plans to develop best practice recommendations for companies listed on the WSE which, in line with global trends, will emphasise the importance of non-financial capital (e.g. human or environmental capital) used by companies and extend the scope of reporting on non-financial factors.
Every year, the Prime Minister issues Guidelines for companies with State Treasury shareholding preparing financial statements, containing information on non-financial reporting (part III of the Guidelines). – page 28