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Owner-Employee Contracts

In his speech at the Conservative conference, Chancellor George Osborne announced new government proposals for a tax exempt “employee-ownership” scheme. This idea, aimed as SMEs, would essentially allow shares worth between £2,000 and £50,000 to be purchased by employees in exchange for giving up certain employment law rights. The shares would be exempt from capital gains tax.

Under the new employee-owner contract, employees would have to give up their UK rights on unfair dismissal, redundancy, the right to request flexible working and time off for training. Furthermore, women would be required provide 16 weeks’ notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave, instead of the usual 8 weeks.

Although the new type of employee ownership contract would only be optional for existing employees, companies would be allowed to offer only this type of arrangement for new recruits – but they would have the option of inserting more generous employment conditions into the employment contract.

It is expected that legislation enabling this new type of owner-employee contract will come into force in April 2013. Meanwhile, the government will consult on some details of the contract.

Until this new type of contract becomes available, this set of template employment contracts will help you with the hiring process.

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