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Workforce Disclosure Initiative: FAQs

The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) is the only investor-backed platform for disclosure of company workforce data covering both direct operations and supply chains. It is unique in terms of its scope and ambition covering ten workforce management areas – governance, risk assessment, contractual status and remuneration, gender diversity, stability, training, wellbeing and rights issues. The WDI survey applies to all corporate sectors and covers all geographical regions.

Since 2017 the WDI has won the support of 53 institutional investors and secured new disclosures to the WDI platform from 166 of the largest listed companies worldwide.

How does the process of taking part in the WDI work?

The WDI’s investor signatories request that companies submit as much data as they can in response to the annual survey they will be sent. Responses need to be submitted online via the Nossa Data online reporting platform. All the data a company submits goes directly to our investor signatories and then companies can choose what other information is made available to the general public. Each response is scored based on the level of completeness and given a confidential “Disclosure Score” and Scorecard. Every responder is also offered a feedback call to go through their response and improve.

I am just getting started with the survey, are there any areas that I should prioritise?

The WDI survey and question guidance is structured in a way to support companies to prioritise their responses and progressively increase the level of workforce data they report as they become more accustomed to responding to the survey. There are three main ways companies can prioritise their response. 


Companies should focus on providing data for the Foundation tier questions, which ask for the most basic and commonly reported workforce metrics. Companies should also aim to respond to as many of the Core Indicators as possible, as these ask companies for the data that can be most insightful when looking to improve workforce practices. Lastly, the guidance for each question has been structured to highlight what data can be reported when a company is ‘getting started’ and what would be the more detailed data companies provide as ‘next steps’. Even if the company cannot meet every criteria in the guidance, providing data on just the ‘getting started’ components can help prioritise data collection and responses and establish a foundation for more detailed data in future years.   

My organisation has been taking part for a couple of years, how can we improve our WDI response?

Organisations that are looking to advance their workforce reporting should aim to complete as many Intermediate tier questions as possible. Companies should also aim to report against all Core Indicators 


Companies should also aim to provide more comprehensive data for the questions they are already responding to, for example, by providing data that covers more operating locations and a larger proportion of the workforce. They should be meeting all ‘getting started’ criteria in the guidance for every data point they provide, as well as aiming to provide data for more ‘next steps’ criteria. Organisations should also consider how they can provide more data on topics that are traditionally underreported, such as workforce stability. 

How can my organisation become a leading WDI responder?

Companies that are looking to establish themselves as leaders in workforce reporting should be aiming to provide data for as many Comprehensive tier indicators as possible. These are questions that reflect the challenges of collecting and reporting information on aspects which are often overlooked. Leading companies should already be providing detailed data against all Core Indicators and, wherever possible, providing data that covers as large a proportion of the companies’ operations as possible. Leading companies should also be meeting the majority of all guidance criteria (both ‘getting started’ and ‘next steps’) for each question.  

What should I do if my company only has partial data for a question?

Organisations should provide whatever data they currently have and utilise the ‘notes on this topic’ questions to provide any further context around the data they have provided. Companies should not feel concerned about providing partial data, as even limited data is greatly valued by investors. Providing partial data can also help the company identify where there are gaps in their data collection and opportunities to progressively build upon the information the company already has, helping the organisation improve its own reporting. 

The question is asking for an example of something that my company has never done, how should I respond?
If the company has never carried out the specific actions a question is asking for an example of, companies can outline the steps and procedures the company would take if they were to take that action, clearly indicating that this is what the company would do, not what the company has done. The company should also explain what plans they have, if any, to take this action in the future.
My organisation does not have an extensive supply chain and/or is not involved in manufacturing, do I need to respond to questions looking at the value chain?

All questions in the WDI survey have been designed so that companies from every sector can provide at least some data. It is inevitable that certain topics will be more salient for certain companies than for others, but companies should aim, and be able to, provide data for every section of the survey, including the sections on the value chain. While service-based companies often lack goods-focused supply chains of an equivalent scale to manufacturing organisations, it is extremely unlikely that they will have no value chain to report on at all, as service-based companies often have upstream value chains that consist of other services, tools, software and so on.8 As the value chain sections consider the whole value chain, companies can and should also consider the downstream value chain (the process of getting products from the company to the end user), rather than just the upstream value chain (the process of getting materials to the manufacturer) in their answers.  


The ‘getting started’ criteria in the guidance can serve as a helpful guide as to the information that may be more appropriate for organisations with less extensive value chains. Additionally, as the WDI’s focus is transparency, and not performance, companies will not be penalised for responding to questions with limited data. Where a question asks about value chain practices that the organisation does not engage in, the company can simply state this.