Workers are to be given the opportunity to give up employment rights in return for shares in their company, Chancellor George Osborne announced today.
The new "employee-owners" will receive between £2,000 and £50,000 of shares that will be exempt from capital gains tax when sold, and in return will give up rights on unfair dismissal, redundancy and the right to request flexible working and time off for training.
Announcing the policy to the Conservative annual conference in Birmingham, Mr Osborne said it would appeal to new businesses starting up and small and medium-sized firms who need flexible labour and highly motivated staff.
But aides said the voluntary scheme will be open to any limited company. They expect hundreds of thousands of employees to sign up within the next few years, at a cost to the Treasury of around £100 million in lost capital gains tax by 2017/18, and growing in subsequent years.
The Chancellor's surprise plan for swapping job rights for shares is praised as "innovative", but what does it mean for the average worker?
The Chancellor told the assembled delegates that they were still, "all in it together," and that he was right to cut the 50p tax rate.
The Government is to press ahead with plans to slash an extra £10 billion from the welfare budget by 2016-17, the Chancellor has said.