Top Stories

May 18, 2022


Number of working people in UK with disability up 1.3 million in five years

New figures from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of disabled people in employment has increased by 1.3 million since 2017. The number of disabled people in work in January to March 2022 was 4.8 million. This was an increase of 460,000 since January to March 2021, and an increase of 470,000 since the same period in 2020. However, the disability employment gap – the difference in the employment rates of people who have a disability and those who do not – was 28.2% in January to March 2022, according to the Department for Work and Pensions. Furthermore, disability pay gap figures released by the ONS revealed the difference between median pay for disabled employees and non-disabled employees in 2021 stood at 13.8%. (Personnel Today)


Starbucks to cover travel costs for abortions, gender-affirming visits

Coffee giant Starbucks has announced it will start covering eligible travel expenses for employees seeking abortions or gender-affirming procedures. The company joins Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Salesforce in offering to reimburse workers for travel costs related to abortions following a leak of the draft US Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade that currently gives people the legal right to abortion. Other large companies, like Walmart and Disney have chosen to stay silent on the draft opinion. Starbucks has a reputation for championing liberal causes, like vocally supporting same-sex marriage, transgender rights and hiring refugees. Since 2012, its health insurance has covered gender reassignment surgery and an array of gender-affirming procedures. A spokesperson said the company is still working on additional details, such as when the benefit kicks in. (CNBC)


Oil and gas giants challenged by investor coalition on just transition

An investor coalition called the Collective Impact Coalition (CIC) facilitated by NGO the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) has put 100 oil and gas companies on notice to ensure a ‘just transition’. A letter was sent to firms including ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, BP, Gazprom, Repsol, Shell, Santos and TotalEnergies, following the WBA’s Just Transition Assessment, which found the majority of the firms were failing to take necessary steps to ensure that workers and communities are not left behind in plans to shift from fossil fuels to new business models. The CIC includes active investor groups Newton Investment Management, Ninety-One, and NGOs PRI and the Grantham Research Institute. The CIC aims to engage with target companies to promote the publication of effective just transition planning informed by social dialogue. (Responsible Investor)*


China issues first ESG disclosure standard based on Ping An offering

The first China-focused ESG disclosure standard has been released by government think-tank the China Enterprise Reform and Development Society. The standard is based on relevant Chinese laws and regulation and details disclosure principles, performance indicators and the applicable regulatory framework for different companies. It can be deployed internally for ESG governance purposes or as a reference for third-party reviews. Insurance company Ping An contributed to the drafting of the standard, which incorporates the insurer’s in-house CN-ESG evaluation system framework. The CN-ESG framework is based on the sustainability disclosure requirements for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It operates across 13 ESG themes, covering 134 mandatory and 260 optional indicators. The standard appears to be voluntary at this stage, with no details provided on its future enforcement. (Responsible Investor)*


UK government releases application to spot online spying behaviour

A new app has been launched by the UK government to prevent people falling victim to online approaches by foreign spies. National security service MI5 says it has seen 10,000 UK nationals targeted by fake social medial profiles on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. The spies are seeking to lure people into passing on sensitive information. The ‘Think Before you Link’ app will help people spot suspicious approaches. Designed with the help of behavioural scientists, the app prompts users with a series of questions to assess if someone who has approached them might be using a fake account. This includes being on the look-out for flattery or offers which appear too good to be true. The app also includes an inbuilt reverse image search to spot stolen photos. (BBC News)

*Subscription required





Would you love to work in sustainability, supporting big brands in their responsible business journeys? Click here to see info on our current openings. We can't wait to hear from you



Actions for Business 2022

B4SI Annual Review 2021