Shares for worker rights scheme voted down by House of Lords

THE HOUSE of Lords yesterday voted down the government’s shares for rights scheme, passing an amendment proposed by Labour peer Lord Adonis.

The scheme, which would see employees of some business’s given the option of sacrificing certain working rights in exchange for shares in the company that were exempt from capital gains tax, was defeated by a 54-vote majority, including 10 Tory rebels.

The plan, which was one of George Osborne key proposals at last year’s Conservative conference, was voted down after concerns that it would fail to boost growth and lose substantial tax revenues.

The scheme was intended to encourage employment, with businesses less wary about taking on staff since they would not be subject to expensive hiring costs and would be able to lay off people more easily. Workers would give up training, redundancy and flexible working rights.

The government said the scheme would go through, with Lord Adonis’s amendment rejected in the Commons.