Written by Karen Bryan
I was flabbergasted to read the UK Chancellor’s proposal for employees to give up employment rights, such as claims for redundancy and unfair dismissal, in exchange for company shares. It seems immoral that employment rights are being viewed as a commodity that can be bought and sold.
To me, it smacks of jam today and worry about tomorrow later.
What on earth is the point of owning shares if the company can dismiss you more easily? What if the value of your shares drops and you’ve jeopardised your future earnings for a dubious short term gain?
I do agree that employers and employees working more closely together is a laudable aim. However I doubt that this will be an automatic consequence of employees owning shares in the company for which they work while having fewer employment rights.
Existing employees can’t be forced to give up their employment rights for shares. However new employees may find that they will have to forfeit their rights in order to get the job, as employers will have the option to only offer rights for shares contracts to new staff.
I’d love to hear your opinion on this proposal.