Employment law: rights for shares

The new employee shareholder employment status is finally set to become law.

The House of Lords twice rejected the clause of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill that would introduce a new employee shareholder employment status, under which an employee or new recruit can agree to trade certain employment rights for shares in the company. The Lords finally accepted the clause on 24th April 2013 after the government made the following concessions:

  • Jobseeker’s allowance cannot be withdrawn if an employee shareholder job is refused;
  • An offer of employee shareholder status must include a statement explaining the employment rights that would be sacrificed and the rights attaching to the shares;
  • The individual must receive advice about the offer from an independent solicitor, barrister, legal executive, union official or advice centre. The employer must meet reasonable costs incurred in receiving this advice, regardless of whether the offer is accepted;
  • Individuals agreeing to the offer will be entitled to a seven-day “cooling off” period from the day legal advice is received;

The Bill received Royal Assent on 25th April 2013 and became the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013. The government intends to implement the new employment status on 1st September 2013.

Please contact our Employment Law team for further advice – commercial@blasermills.co.uk.