An international group of investors managing a collective $3 trillion in assets is calling for operators of nursing homes around the world to improve wages and working standards for front-line nursing home staff amid the effects of COVID-19 on the industry.
Aviva Investors and BMO Global Asset Management are among the more than 90 investors teaming up with UNI Global Union, which represents 20 million workers worldwide, according to a report by Reuters Thursday. The coalition sent a statement Thursday to nursing home operators and real estate investment trusts, setting out their expectations on issues such as health and safety standards, staffing levels and pay.
The move is the latest in a series of investor initiatives that aim to use their financial clout to influence corporate decision-making in favor of environmental, social and governance issues.
“As the sector recovers and we reflect upon the damage to our societies and the loss of human life during the pandemic, we must seize this moment to ensure the industry changes for the better and develops a more humane and resilient model,” the group wrote. They called on regulators to ensure that regulatory environments and funding provisions enable nursing homes to meet the necessary standards, and they urged firms to take substantive steps to raise standards. They also pressed investors to set clear expectations to help address the industry risks the pandemic brought to light.
“To restore public trust and further our understanding as investors, we also expect to see comprehensive and reliable public disclosure on: the company’s governance of these areas, targets set and their integration into management incentive schemes, measures taken, and outcomes through key performance indicators,” the group wrote.