What Issues Matters While Reporting on Employees

Employees are recognized as salient companies’ stakeholder as they provide years of service to companies. The relationship between companies and employees create the responsibility for companies to report about employment practice. In EU, the report about employment is mostly emphasize on payment and benefit, recruitment/redundancies, training, and breakdown of employment by gender, geographical, or locations. however, there are some limitations regarding the practice of employment reporting that therefore the accountability to employees is not satisfactorily discharge.

Firstly, Williams and Adams (2013), through the employment of discourse analysis method, asserted that National Westminster Bank (Natwest) employee reporting practice was lack of disclosure in terms of impact of technology and branch closure, training and career prospect, consultation and participation, and redundancies. Moreover, there was also a tendency to conceal the reality behind the flowery rhetoric. for instance, Natwest’s annual report disclosed the following:

“as part of our drive for profitable growth, we continue to look closely at means of cutting work and activities which do not add value to our services. we are streamlining our operations in order to release staff for more profitable activities….”

However, Natwest did not disclose what is the impact of cutting work for employees. In reality, many employees, predominantly female workers, experienced job-deskilling in which they have to undertake different routine task with low payment. However, men were not affected by job deskilling. Another evidence is Natwest disclosed in the annual report that the company was frequently engage with labor union. In fact, there were no indication that the voice of employees were heard and responded to in relation to any of employment issues. Natwest was merely engage with the employee in order to get the input of how to increase customer satisfaction.

According to the legitimacy theory, Natwest performed this symbolic management strategy in order to be perceived as value congruent with society. Furthermore, according to political-economic theory, this action was also performed in order to obtain reputation from government and capital owners. 

Secondly, current employee reporting practice indicate the discrimination of gender and race. Duff (2011) present an evidence that in Big 4 public accountant firms’ annual report, there were less portrayal of women and non-white while most of the portrait in the annual report was predominated by men. Moreover, both women and non-white were depicted as non-employees and portrait in the informal setting while the majority of men picture were depicted men as employees with formal attire. 

Hayness and Fearfull (2008) described that women were largely discriminated in the workplace not because they can not perform particular task but more likely because the persisting patriarchy paradigm in the society which relates women as the subservient of men. Moreover, the motherhood identity embedded to women makes them appeared to be less flexible in performing some task.

To conclude, the major issue in employment reporting was the use of symbolic management strategies to legitimate companies action that they will obtain legitimacy from public, government, and capital provider. Moreover, it is also evident that gender and racial discrimination is still appeared in companies’ employee report.


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