Throwing a sop to the Tory right, chancellor George Osborne has said (8 October) that he will legislate to let bosses "buy out" workers' rights.
By giving you £2000 in shares in the company, your boss will be able to cancel your right to sue for unfair dismissal, your right to redundancy pay, your right to ask for flexible hours or time off for training, and some of your maternity-leave rights.
Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, said: “Slashing people’s employment rights under the guise of ownership schemes won’t create jobs and it won’t create growth”.
Even bosses were sceptical. John Cridland, director of the bosses' federation CBI, said: “this is a niche idea”. Lawyer Anthony Sakrouge pointed out: “Giving up the right not to be unfairly dismissed for £2,000 worth of shares will not be a very attractive proposition...”
The labour movement must make sure that a “niche” does not become an abcess, poisoning workers’ rights throughout industry.