Lawyer criticises Osborne’s shares plan

Have your say

A LEADING Sheffield employment lawyer has attacked Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s plans to get workers to give up their rights in exchange for shares in the companies they work for.

Liesel Whitfield, from Irwin Mitchell, doesn’t think the proposals to give employees who waive unfair dismissal and flexible working rights shares worth between £2,000 and £50,000 will be as effective and innovative as has been claimed.

“The principle of boosting employee participation and commitment in line with the success of a business is a good idea, but there are numerous reasons why this version of that concept is unlikely to find favour with either employers or employees,” she says.

“From an employee perspective, the economic climate means shares are not performing well at present.

“Small businesses may be reluctant to give shares away, particularly if they are family or owner-manager businesses. Also, there is no effective open market value for shares in “closed” companies.

“This is a good idea for good times – but these are not good times.”