Law threat to workers’ shares plan

Government plans to offer workers a chance to receive shares in their company in
return for giving up some of their employment rights could be frustrated by European law,
ministers have been warned.

Chris Mordue, of legal firm Pinsent Masons, said any rights traded in for shares would be restricted to UK employment law, because the government could not allow an opt-out from European laws.

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The proposals could also have hidden costs for businesses,
according to Mr Mordue.

The voluntary employee-ownership scheme was announced by Chancellor George Osborne at the Tory conference and involved workers giving up their rights to statutory redundancy pay and protection from unfair dismissal, in return for £2,000-£50,000 worth of shares.