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ABSTRACT. This contribution synthesizes the results of an inquiry by the SEEurope network on the current legal framework and practices in 28 European countries regarding non-financial and sustainability-related reporting by European companies. The object was to analyze whether company policy with regard to sustainability-related issues is documented and reported to the workforce. The outcome confirms the absence of the notion of workers’ representatives involvement at aggregate level, both practical and theoretical. In view of recent efforts at EU level to stimulate companies to go beyond the traditional financial and economic reporting, the results of this exploratory study are rather patchy. Even in the best performing countries there is little evidence that non-financial reporting practices of companies go beyond traditional items. Moreover, workforce and workplace conditions are not seen as a key part of sustainability concerns and workers’ representatives are not prominently involved in the long-term sustainability policy of their companies. Last but not least, the crisis has placed labor organizations on the defensive in the sense that sustainability issues come to be perceived as a “luxury” at a time when labor law and collective bargaining are subject to organized deregulation attacks. pp. 50–89

Keywords: industrial relations, corporate social responsibility, workers representation, corporate governance, European social policy, sustainability

JAN CREMERS
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Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies
University of Amsterdam
Doctor of Letters, University of Westminster

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