House of Lords blocks 'shares for rights' plan

The House of Lords has rejected Chancellor Osborne’s plan to introduce a new owner-employee contract with a vote of 232 – 178 against the proposal.

The so-called ‘shares-for-rights’ bill planned to enable workers to exchange basic rights like unfair dismissal for up to £50k worth of shares in the company they work for. Former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Forsyth described the plans as “ill-thought through, confused and muddled”.

The policy had been criticised by both labour groups and employers as problematic. Aside from the more apparent problems it might have posed in terms of abuse by unscrupulous employers, some in the business community questioned if contracts lacking employee rights might harm the ability of businesses to attract employees.

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