UK
02/09/2013 07:17 BST

George Osborne's Employee Ownership Scheme Is 'Naive Faux Marxism' - Lawyers

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne leaves 10 Downing Street, central London.
PA
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne leaves 10 Downing Street, central London.

George Osborne's "employee ownership" scheme, which came into effect on Sunday, has been criticised by legal experts in droves.

The Chancellor's "shares for rights" plan was unveiled last year, with employees potentially giving up their statutory rights over unfair dismissal, redundancy and flexible working in order to get between £2,000 and £50,000 in shares as an "employee shareholder".

Employees would also need to provide twice as much notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave.

Speaking at the Tory party conference last year, Osborne said the scheme would cost £100 million by 2017/2018.

"It's a voluntary three way deal. You the company: give your employees shares in the business. You the employee: replace your old rights of unfair dismissal and redundancy with new rights of ownership," he said.

"And what will the Government do? We'll charge no capital gains tax at all on the profit you make on your shares. Zero percent capital gains tax for these new employee-owners.

"Get shares and become owners of the company you work for. Owners, workers, and the taxman, all in it together. Workers of the world unite."

Employement law experts have not held back in their critcism. One legal expert branded it the "most damaging development in the employment field in many years", while another labelled it "faux marxism".

Photo galleryExperts Lay Into Osborne's Employee Ownership Scheme See Gallery

HuffPostUK decided to compile the best critiques in what wouldn't make happy reading for the Chancellor.