Time is running out to take part in the Employee Share Ownership Consultation, which ends on 8th November 2012. Please complete this consultation and help the Lib Dems send a message to Osborne that workers’ rights are not up for grabs.
The full consultation document sets out the proposal for a new employment status of employee share ownership, but where the employee gives up employment rights in exchange for company shares. There is also a summary of the proposal on the treasury website.
Some points to consider:
The government suggest this scheme is voluntary, but what about those on Job Seekers Allowance who would have no choice but to accept the job or lose their JSA. And it’s not as if there is an abundance of jobs to choose from for most people. Also the summary suggests that companies can choose to offer ‘only’ this type of employment. So what makes it voluntary?
How will the shares be valued at distribution and buyback? Employees must sell the shares back to the company if they leave. Without an independent valuation the system is open to abuse of over-valuing or under-valuing shares.
Will the fear of losing your job without the protection of unfair dismissal or redundancy payment rights make employees reluctant to spend money in the economy? We need growth for the economy to recover; this will not help to promote growth.
This proposal is primarily aimed at new startups and small companies? But isn’t there enough flexibility in the system already? The government has already changed the rights on unfair dismissal so it doesn’t come in until you have been employed for two years rather than one. Right to redundancy payments is also after two years. Requests for flexible hours and training are already at the discretion of the employer. So how will losing these rights altogether make any difference? Sure two years is enough time to decide if an employee is suitable?
This proposal is clearly Osborne’s way of getting the already rejected Beecroft proposals through the back door. Over 200 Liberal Democrat members have already signed this letter against the measures.
Please take part in the consultation now before it’s too late.
* Tracy Connell is a member of the Liberal Democrats in Newcastle City, and a regional officer.