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Employee representatives and employee-related disclosures: A study of the implementation of the non-financial reporting regulation in Sweden

Conference contribution
Authors Niuosha Samani
Svetlana Sabelfeld
Conny Overland
Published in Financial Reporting and Business Communication Conference
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Business Administration, Accounting
Department of Business Administration, Industrial and Financial Management & Logistics
Language en
Subject categories Business Administration

Abstract

In this paper we explored how employee representatives on corporate boards influence the extent and the quality of employee-related disclosures in light of the recent EU-directive on non-financial reporting. Using a sample of Swedish firms listed in the Stockholm Stock Exchange, we examine factors that determine the level and the quality of non-financial disclosures on employees. Our empirical results point to more specific and less uncertain disclosures on employees when employee-representatives join the board of directors. In particular, we find that in firms with employee-representatives on the board, there is more coverage on employee-related matters, and the tone of disclosures is more neutral, more specific, less variable and less uncertain. The results of the effect of the new regulatory requirement also indicate that Swedish firms, especially those with no employee representatives, have responded to the requirements to the extent that they provide more information in the reports. However, the qualitative features of the texts have not changed before and after the implementation of new requirements. Our results suggest that regulation alone would not contribute to a better quality of employee reporting unless more enforcement is in place, e.g., through representation on the board of directors.

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