Thinned down shares for rights is approved

GEORGE OSBORNE finally saw proposals that will allow staff to give up employment rights in exchange for shares passed by the House of Lords last night, but only after he agreed to water down the scheme significantly.

The chancellor’s so-called shares for rights policy was passed by 275 votes to 168 in the upper house last night, having previously been rejected twice. The Commons had passed the scheme for a third time on Tuesday, only this time with an amendment that will see workers offered free legal advice before they agree to sign up to it.

Those opposed to the plan argued that its passing marked only a Pyrrhic victory for Osborne, since the form the policy has now taken means that companies will be so wrapped up in red tape that they will not take advantage of the scheme.

Osborne had announced the plans at last year’s Tory conference, saying that staff with fewer employment rights would be easier to hire, providing a boost to startups.