At the same time as the government announced that listed companies will have to reveal their staff gender balances from next year, the EU postponed its plans to impose a 40% female quota on listed companies’ boards.

The draft Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013 will require listed companies to produce a strategic report on their strategy, their business model, and any human rights issues. They will also be required to report on the number of men and women on their board, the number of men and women who are ‘managers’ and the numbers of each in the organisation as a whole. The regulations will come into force in October 2013. The draft regulations follow the 2011 recommendation of Lord Davies for women to make up at least one in four of all board members in FTSE 100 companies by 2015. See also The Future of Narrative Reporting: BIS, October 2012 which contains the draft regulations and ‘Getting women to the top’ which includes some top tips for women and those in HR.

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding had been pushing for a vote to take place on a proposed law which would force companies to keep 40% of positions on their supervisory boards for women by 2020 or face fines. But this has been postponed following widespread criticism from several EU governments and concerns that it would be legally unenforceable. Commissioner Reding has said she will not abandon her plans and it will be on the Commission’s agenda before the end of November 2012.