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For too long work has taken a backseat in responsible investment activity. Despite its importance to value creation too many stewardship providers and investors have only ever paid lip service to decent work and good employment standards. PIRC’s specialist stewardship services are changing this.

No longer do responsible investors have to be content with empty words. PIRC’s market leading service builds on our tradition of engaging trade unions, employees and stakeholders, equipping clients with the tools to understand and manage work-related investment risks.

PIRC’s employment-related stewardship services are supported by an expert team with experience working for trade unions and on employment issues. Our team provides clients with a range of unique services, including PIRC’s work-related dataset on companies, work-related company engagements, engagement activity with stakeholders, and access to the only employment-focused ESG newsletter.


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WORK newsletter
The only employment-focused ESG newsletter is available to PIRC clients.

WORK provides clients with the latest developments in investment related employment issues. This includes information about current employment concerns and cases against companies, how public policy is shaping employment risks for investors, data-driven deep dives into specific work-related ESG issues and PIRC’s watchlist of companies facing significant employment-related issues.

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Case study 02

PIRC’s unique WORK dataset
PIRC’s Work dataset enables investors to understand employment risks and identify best practice at investee companies.

Consistent and comparable data on company-specific employment issues is notoriously hard to find. To fill this gap PIRC, with support from the Alex Ferry Foundation, has developed its unique dataset of employment-related information from public disclosures by UK companies and regulators. This dataset informs PIRC’s stewardship activities and is available to clients.

Case study 03

Responding quickly to the social risks of Covid
Not all engagement activity can be planned or foreseen. However, PIRC’s focus on employment and social risks has enabled us to support clients manage the rapidly emerging risks around Covid.

Covid had significant impact on workers with major reputational, operational and legal risks to investee companies. To ensure these were being managed as soon as the pandemic hit, PIRC undertook engagements on company actions to protect their workforces. During the height of the crisis PIRC held seminars on the employment impacts of Covid and implications for investors and issued a report on unreported deaths in the food production sector. PIRC engaged and secured major improvements in social risks in the supply of the PPE sector and continues to engage collaboratively on employment standards in the care sector.

Case study 04

Endowing Labour
This research report examined the role that foundations can and do play in improving labour standards in their investee companies.

For the report, PIRC analysed policies at foundations to understand current approaches to social standards and to identify where more could be done. The report examined some of the barriers to pushing for improvements, including the role of asset managers. PIRC then set out recommendations for how investment policies and practices could best enhance progress on labour rights, including with reference to case studies of approaches by other investors. The report concluded that although smaller than institutional investees, as mission-driven institutions, foundations have the potential to influence investment practices more broadly.