Sunday 6 November 2016 7:20 pm

Theresa May will launch a consultation over her planned board seats for workers within weeks

Downing Street is set to launch a consultation within a fortnight on Theresa May's controversial plans to put workers on boards.

British businesses are already gearing up to provide alternatives to the proposals, which have raised eyebrows in boardrooms.

May first revealed the plan this summer during her successful campaign to succeed David Cameron, but business groups have been loathe to express support. Following May's closing speech at the Conservative Party conference, the CBI labelled the initiative as an example of approaches that “look good on paper, but don’t make a difference in practice”.

Read More: Beware the unintended consequences of May’s flawed executive pay proposals

A final date for the consultation has yet to be set, but it could be issued even before Parliament returns from a brief recess next week.

One suggestion mooted already has involved tying the plan explicitly to May's focus on executive pay, with a nominated non-executive director responsible for representing the views of employees on the remuneration committee.

“The softest way of doing it could be having a non-executive who is responsible for giving employee feedback to that committee, because it did seem that the original point of this was about executive pay” an IoD spokesman told City A.M.

“The hardest would be having an employee representative as a full director, with all the duties that implies, but I'm not sure the government wants to go that far.

“They have been listening to the message from us and others that it is not as simple as perhaps they might have thought.”