Growth and Infrastructure Bill, clause 27

Clause 27 of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill proposes to introduce a new employment status of "employee shareholder". An employee shareholder will be given shares in the employer company. They will have the same rights as other employees, excluding:

  • unfair dismissal rights,
  • certain rights to request flexible working and training, 
  • rights over statutory redundancy pay; and 
  • they will be required to give longer notice periods to return from maternity or adoption leave.

The government consulted on the proposals from 18 October to 8 November 2012. The Equality and Human Rights Commission's response to the consultation is here.

The Commission has sought a legal opinion from leading Counsel on the compatibility of clause 27 of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill with European Union law and the Human Rights Act and has produced a briefing based on this opinion. It concludes that the introduction of a new status of employee owner should not result in a reduction in individuals’ rights to protection from unfair dismissal, access to flexible working or the notification of return from parental leave. Employers, if they wish to, may offer share ownership options to employees and at the same time offer the same rights and benefits as all other employees in the UK. This will make employers more attractive to skilled and talented recruits, who wish to work in a modern flexible workplace with full protection of employment rights

Download the briefing and legal opinion.

Last updated: 04 Jul 2016