Liberal Democrats have backed radical proposals designed to make mutuals, employee-owned, and employee-share-owned businesses more viable; increase the number of employees benefiting from ownership schemes; and give employees a greater say over their own working environments.
The proposals, approved at the party’s Autumn Conference, include:
- Giving discounts on Capital Gains Tax for business owners who transfer a significant stake in the business to employees
- Enshrining in legislation workers’ rights to participation in organisations with over 250 employees
- Giving employees in publicly-listed companies with more than 250 employees the right to request an all-employee share scheme covering at least 5% of the shares
- Providing for employees to submit a bid for up to 100% ownership of a business at the point of sale
- Requiring that all Initial Public Offerings on the London Stock Exchange offer at least 5% of shares to employees at a discounted rate
Commenting, Martin Horwood MP, who helped draw up the plans and is proposing the motion, said:
“Liberal Democrats believe in giving people more control over their own lives. That applies to the workplace as much as anywhere else.
“Giving employees more power is good for them, good for companies and good for the economy.
“That’s why Nick Clegg has championed an economy where employees have a stake in their companies and a say in how they are run.
“We want to go further and see employee ownership and workplace democracy spread right across the economy.”