UK ‘shares for rights’ scheme, flawed

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Londonâ„¢s Å“share for rights” scheme has loopholes that could end up costing taxpayers almost a billion pounds and put workers at risk by stripping their basic work and labor rights, British trades unionsâ„¢ umbrella group Trades Union Congress (TUC) says.

The scheme, introduced by British Chancellor George Osborne, came into effect on Sunday, allowing individuals to trade vital employment rights for company shares.

“The Chancellor’s shares for rights gimmick may have cheered delegates at the Conservative party conference but … it could turn into a gaping new £1 billion tax loophole, allowing the super rich to dodge paying tax on company shares,” said Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary.

Å“At a time when the public finances are under strain, the government should be closing these loopholes not creating new ones.,” she added.

With this new measure, employees who hold shares in their company are easier and less costly to sack as they are no longer protected from unfair dismissal and rights to redundancy pay and flexible working.

O’Grady warned that due to the unstable nature of shares, there is no guarantee of them sustaining or gaining in value, so some individuals could end up trading basic employment rights for worthless stocks.

“Ordinary workers who may be forced to become employee owners in order to find work could end up giving up basic rights such as redundancy pay for worthless company shares. Although this is an employment scam worthy of a Watchdog investigation, it has been created and encouraged by the Chancellor,” she said.

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Republished from: Press TV