Chancellor’s employee-owner consultation to end

A consultation on Chancellor George Osborne’s proposed new employment contract for employee-owners will close on 8 November.

The consultation will examine how to implement the contract, due to be introduced in April 2013.

The proposal, announced in October, has been met with resistance from the industry.

Under the plan, all employers would be able to offer the new contract by giving staff between £2,000 and £50,000 in shares, exempt from capital gains tax on a later sale. In exchange, staff would give up their rights on unfair dismissal, redundancy and the right to request flexible working, and would be required to give 16 weeks’ notice of a date of return from maternity leave.

In October, a YouGov survey of 2,000 UK adults found 63% think the new contract is a bad idea. Other research, published by Loughborough University in September, found that 75% of respondents who take part in a share plan through their employer are more motivated at work.

John Collison, head of employee share ownership at IFS Proshare, which commissioned the research, said: “At a time when saving, and a move away from a more reckless financial past is needed, something that ticks both boxes should be made as attractive and straightforward as possible.”