‘Shares for rights’ employee contracts

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As of 1 September 2013, employees can choose a new employment status allows them to waive certain employment rights in exchange for shares in their employer’s company.

Employees cannot be forced into ‘shareholder’ status and they must be given – rather than purchase – a minimum of £2,000 worth of shares in their employer’s company. In a bid to boost take-up of the scheme, employee shareholders can take advantage of capital gains exemptions on gains made from the sale of shares worth up to £50,000.

Employees still retain, among other employment rights, the right to claim sick pay, maternity leave, time off for emergencies and paid annual leave. But they will forfeit:

• Most unfair dismissal rights

• The right to statutory redundancy pay

• Flexible working rights – except for in the two week period after a return from parental leave

• Certain statutory rights to request time off to train.