And the results are in…..

What does business think about George Osborne’s proposals to allow companies to give employees shares instead of employment rights? The consultation is closed, the results are in, and the answer is – by a ratio of 3:1 – an overwhelmingly negative response from employers!

It really was that stark. Having asked the question “What impact do you think the proposal will have on labour market flexibility – that is, in relation to hiring and letting people go”, there must be some flushed faces in Number 10...the vast majority of business responses thought the effect of this change would be negligible or have a negative impact. Even the official Government response had to admit “The removal of rights, some respondents commented, would limit employers’ ability to find high quality, qualified staff.”


Even more impressively, when asked “Would you be likely to take up the new status? What would the impact of the status be on your business?” then response was near unanimous. Out of 184 responses, just three suggested they would take up the scheme. The silence must have been deafening, except for the three who had just read 50 Shades and decided they liked inflicting pain.

It must have seemed so sensible in the chummy Tory old boys circles. What do we need to help business? Allow them to hire and fire at will! Unfortunately it seems that nobody bothered to talk to any businesses before coming up with such a daft proposal, which is now limping through the parliamentary process as unloved as George Osborne himself.

Next year, can’t we have something we want for Christmas?


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