Employee ownership scheme passed in House of Commons

Members of Parliament have voted in favor of the government’s proposed employee ownership scheme.

The policy, which is part of the Coalition government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill, passed in the House of Commons with 277 votes in favour and 239 against.

This comes after the proposal, dubbed ‘shares for rights’ by Chancellor George Osborne, was voted down in the House of Lord’s in March 2013.

The scheme, which was announced in October 2012, would require employees to give up employment rights, such as the right to redundancy pay and the right to ask for flexible working, in exchange for between £2,000 and £50,000 worth of shares in the company they work for.

Sarah Ozanne, employment partner at law firm CMS Cameron McKenna, said: “It’s curious just why Osborne is so keen to press ahead with this when the consultation showed only lukewarm support for it even among employers.

“There may be better support among start-ups, but why employees would voluntarily surrender really quite fundamental rights is very unclear.”

Phil Hall, special adviser to industry body IFS ProShare, added: “This has been voted against once already, not just by the Labour opposition, but by a number of Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers together with the vast majority of crossbenchers in the House of Lords.”