Introduction to employee-ownership

Businesses can engage people to work for them on many different terms. They may have full-time, part-time or fixed-term employees, workers or self-employed individuals. The distinction between these categories is a trade-off between flexibility, control and obligation, for both the employer and the individual.

The Government has introduced proposals for the creation of a new status of employee, the employee-owner.

Under this new status, employee-owners may each receive shares up to the value of £50,000 which will be exempt from capital gains tax on their sale. Employee owners will have the same rights as current employees but will give up the following rights: unfair dismissal (except where this is automatically unfair or relates to anti-discrimination law); statutory redundancy pay; and certain rights to request flexible working and time off for training. They will also be required to provide 16 weeks notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave, instead of the usual eight…

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