Thursday, 25 October 2012

Parliament get to scrutinise Osborne's toxification of Employee Ownership

That Lib Dems have been angry about Osborne's attempt to 'toxify' the whole idea of employee ownership with his perverse and foolish proposal to swap minimal ownership rights with employee rights is well testified. The open letter on Lib Dem Voice is just one manifestation of that...

Others in the field were equally outspoken. :

Commenting on the new BIS consultation on workplace rights “Implementing Employee Owner Status”, Employee Ownership Association CEO Iain Hasdell:
There is absolutely no need to dilute the rights of workers in order to grow employee ownership and no data to suggest that doing so would significantly boost employee ownership.
“Indeed all of the evidence is that employee ownership in the UK is growing and the businesses concerned thriving, because they enhance not dilute the working conditions and entitlements of the workforce...

It is a tad embarrassing that the consultation on these proposals is being done, as it were, in Jo Swinson's name, as the EOA website reports:

The document, introduced by new Employment Minister Jo Swinson MP, consults on a series of measures impacting on workplace rights including unfair dismissal and maternity rights in exchange for CGT relief on shares issued to employees and share ownership. The accompanying press notice says:  “Government is creating a new employment status: “employee owner”. This will give businesses greater choice about the contracts they can offer to individuals, whilst ensuring appropriate levels of protection are maintained.”
 I am sure that by now BIS has received many representations about this proposal. I have just sought clarification - the tax element of the so called ' Employee Owners' will amend the finance and tax bill... so the Lords WILL be able to scrutinise the Growth and Infrastructure Bill which will contain the EO measure -which is good news.

So if any noble Lords are reading this can I suggest some reading:

1 comment:

  1. New status of employee owner? What about the existing 100 000+ employee owners in the UK? All with an ownership stake in their companies and full employment contracts. The proposal is quite insulting to these employee owners and I hope the Lib Dems - always so vocal in their support of the model - make their voices heard and shape this policy into something that will deliver benefit to the sector.

    Osborne's proposals miss the basic principle that underpins the success of employee owned businesses. Because there is no external shareholders to pander to, the firm can focus on building a prosperous business for the future. It is this long term view that leads to increased innovation, investment in people and employee and customer satisfaction. The proposal as it stands ignores this completely and actually encourages hire and fire which is the antipathy of longtermism.

    There is a place for the proposed model in British business, and I can see its merits, perhaps for high tech start ups. But let's be quite clear, it's not employee ownership.


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