Accounts - Clarification of "Average Number of Employees" Requirement

I refer to our previous communication advising that The Companies, Partnerships and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2015 brought small and micro entity company types into scope for the “Average Number Of Employees” element - as such, this will become a compulsory field for disclosure into the notes and will be validated.

Companies House have since received requests for clarification on various elements of this directive, and as such, hope the following will be of relevance.

Legislation wise this is also a requirement of the Companies Act (as follows):
Section 411 Information about employee numbers and costs
[F1(1)The notes to a company’s annual accounts must disclose the average number of persons employed by the company in the financial year.

As regards the implications for development if a company is deemed to have no employees, the XII transformation registry has, since v2, included a transform called “zerodash”, which allows a dash in the visible document to be treated as zero for the purposes of a numeric fact. At present, this is the only non-numeric representation that can be treated as zero.

Companies House use a version of the iXBRL processor that handles this transformation, so submitters can use this to tag a dash and report zero employees. Otherwise, including the tag in the hidden section, while not ideal, is an acceptable approach.

Please note that XII transformation registry v4 is due to be released soon and this includes the “fixed-zero” transformation. This allows any text string to be tagged and treated as zero. Once this is released and incorporated into our checking systems this will allow submitters to use this transform when submitting to Companies House, which will allow for clearer tagging in the future.