While some of the nation’s top 200 publically listed companies are making headway into improving their human rights records, more must be done, according to new research released by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).

The research, conducted by MSCI ESG Research, analyses the disclosure of labour and human rights policies by ASX200 companies with regards to the core conventions on the International Labour Organization.

The report concluded that only 14 per cent of the top 200 companies have any formal policy framework that addresses cross-section labour and human rights issues.

While only ‘a very small number of companies’ pledge support, or even refer to, global frameworks such ash the UN’s Global Compact, the Declrartion of Human Rights or the ILO’s Declaration on Fundemental Principles and Rights.

Casual or temp staff were least likely to be referenced with any regard to the extension of labour or human rights policies.

“As institutional investors we see good labour relations as essential to long-term success. A number of studies, both internationally and in Australia, have demonstrated a positive correlation between good employee relations and financial performance. In light of this, we expect the companies in which we invest to actively uphold the rights of their employees and disclose how they are doing so,” ASCI CEO Ann Byrne said.

“The ASX200 are generally well resourced companies and many compete on an international market. It is not unreasonable to expect that the labour and human rights policies they disclose, like other areas of their business performance, are also of an internationally competitive standard.”

 The full report can be found here