Italy: Business & human rights - the non-financial reporting
By means of the Legislative Decree no. 254 of December 30, 2016 (the "Decree"), entered into force on January 25, 2017, Italy has implemented the European Directive 2014/95/EU concerning the non-financial reporting.
In particular, the Decree provides for an obligation for public interest entities (banking, insurance and financial institutions), with more than 500 employees and exceeding € 20,000,000 in the balance sheet or € 40,000,000 in revenues, to draw up and publish, on annual basis, a non-financial statement. It is also provided the faculty for small-medium enterprises to draw up the non-financial statement, on a voluntary basis.
The non-financial statement shall be focused on environmental, social and human rights issues, describing measures and policies implemented by the entity to ensure and promote the respect for human rights, to prevent their violation and to avoid discriminatory conducts.
The Decree provides a mechanism aimed at verifying the compliance with the regulation in concern and sets forth specific administrative penalties in case of breach of the relevant dispositions.
The entry into force of the Decree responds to the need recognized by the International Community to promote, protect and enforce human rights in the field of economic and industrial activity, thus incorporating the principles already expressed in the soft law international instruments on "Corporate Social Responsibility" and human rights protection.
A new concept of "business sustainability" has, therefor, come to light, which is now strictly linked to the seriousness and effectiveness of the tools implemented to ensure human rights and social equality and which is going to create value both for enterprises and their stakeholders.
by Ottavia Colnago (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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