Discover our content for free!

Receive daily social, legal, European or international news by email

Great Britain: following the P&O scandal a coalition of companies is campaigning for more ethical governance rules
Planet Labor, 26 April 2022, n°13028 -

Aghast at P&O Ferries’ sudden dismissal of 800 seafarers  (c.f. article No.12984), more than 1,000 business petitioned the UK Parliament on April 20 to reform the Companies Act 2006, which is the backbone of UK company law. The appeal’s signatories, which include Anglian Water (utility), Iceland (food retail), and Innocent Drinks (beverages), are seeking in particular to amend section 172 of the Act (where a company director only has the ‘Duty to promote the success of the company’) so that directors align corporate objectives with environmental and social concerns. “As things stand, the Companies Act still allows some companies to pursue profits at the expense of workers, communities and nature,” said Mary Portas, a leading British retail consultant and co-chair of the year-old Better Business Act Campaign. “We need to update our laws so that a decision like that (Ed. note, P&O dismissal decision) can never be made in a British boardroom ever again,” Ms. Portas underlined. The business leaders hope that their request will be considered for inclusion in the upcoming Queen’s Speech, scheduled for 10 May that will set out the government’s legislative agenda for parliament’s new term.