There are too many poor quality and precarious jobs around the world. The United Nations recognised this in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 8 calls for ‘decent work for all’. Multinational companies have a key role to play in meeting this goal. Through their operations and supply chains, they are responsible for the pay and wellbeing of millions of workers.
Importantly, it’s been shown that both companies and workers can benefit from creating better quality jobs.
As shareholders of these companies, institutional investors are well placed to make a difference. The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) mobilises these investors to push for better jobs. The first step is to make sure companies disclose comparable workforce information. Investors can then use this data to engage with companies and drive a race to the top.
The WDI brings investors together to request comparable data from companies via an annual survey. Its ultimate goal is to improve the quality of jobs in multinational companies’ operations and supply chains.
The WDI is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and run in partnership with Oxfam. A wide range of other stakeholders are helping to shape the WDI. These include Canada’s Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), consultants Lake Advisory, and other private sector and civil society organisations. The initiative is also endorsed by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).