Employment status warning

A Lancashire employment law expert is warning that a controversial new type of employment status is to be introduced later this year, bringing with it a number of responsibilities for bosses.

‘Employee shareholder’ status has been created by the government and received Royal Assent recently – it will now be implemented on September 1.

As employee shareholders, employees can be awarded between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares in a business, in exchange for forfeiting a number of employment rights.

Oliver McCann, employment partner at Napthens solicitors, warns that employees would give up the right to statutory redundancy payments, the right to request flexible working and to request to undertake study or training.

However, Oliver reminds that employers also have a number of duties, including providing a written statement setting out any rights an employee is giving up, and covering the cost of an employee receiving independent advice about becoming a shareholder.

He said: “In light of the red tape and conditions attached to the newly created employment status, it is unlikely that employers will rush to introduce it to their workforce. “It is difficult to see what the incentive for employers would be, but those considering this new status should make sure they have proper legal advice and prepare fully for the changes when they are introduced in September.”