From a recent question about how to figure out whether you are on a death march, this answer https://workplace.stackexchange.com/a/58835/36305 got me thinking.

As an employee in a non-management position, what kind of information not proactively shared by the company should you feel comfortable asking for, and why (as in why is it a legitimate thing to ask and you should you feel comfortable asking for it)? EDIT: And also, who would you ask?

The answer listed a lot of possibilities but because I don't understand the reasons for the legitimacy or lack thereof of asking for such information, I would feel incredibly uncomfortable asking for pretty much any of it.

At the same time (and this is really the spirit of my question), if I'm ever in a situation in which I start having doubts about the stability of a company I work for (and therefore the security of my employment), I would like to know if there are certain kinds of information I am legitimately entitled to, even if that information isn't shared directly by the company, such that I could make a maximally-informed decision about my future.

For the sake of limiting the scope of the question, I'm primarily interested in private companies; but insights about public companies and the differences between the two are welcome.

  • 1
    Company policy specific.
    – keshlam
    Dec 6, 2015 at 0:25

2 Answers 2


Knowing the question where this comes from, you wouldn't say "I want to know this information", you would say "I am not sure whether this company has a future, and I'd like to see some information to be able to make a decision about my future career".

You can ask about anything. The company may or may not give you the information. The fact that they don't give you the information might answer your question. If your impression that the company is in trouble is wrong, the company might be keen to correct your impression.

There is information that the company must make publicly available if it is traded on the stock market. In the UK, Companies House will have some publicly avaialable information if it is a UK company (and if information is missing, that tells you somehing as well).

  • Thank you. Part of my question was also about what kind of information specifically you would ask for in such a situation? Dec 6, 2015 at 0:46

This is up to the company in question. You can ask for any information you want. But many companies limit what they will actually give you, and this can be totally arbitrary.

A manager might refuse to give it in which case you can escalate your request. I have seen this happen because a manager has a personal issue with the employee and the information works against them.

If escalation fails, then your only recourse if they refuse is legal action.

Best policy is to keep track of information yourself as much as you can whether you think you'll ever need it or not.

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