Chancellor George Osborne has proposed plans to allow companies to offer shares in lieu of employment rights
The Chancellor's plans to offer swaps of employment rights for shares is an invitation for employers to act as though they are running a Victorian millhouse, it has been claimed.
GMB national officer Brian Strutton attacked George Osborne's plans to allow companies to offer shares in lieu of employment rights on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
The scheme was backed by Institute of Directors chief Simon Walker, who said some start-ups and other small businesses could find it useful.
Mr Strutton said: "It is nothing to do with jobs, it won't create virtually any jobs at all. It is just another blatant attack on workers because the Government hasn't got anything more positive to say.
"I don't think the scheme will work. I don't think employees would want to trade their guaranteed employment rights for uncertain share values, I don't think any decent employer would want to go anywhere near it.
"But the key point is the message: the Government is saying it thinks it is OK for employers to treat their workers like they are in the Victorian millhouse and that is just a terrible message."
But Mr Walker, director-general of the IoD, told the same programme the scheme had value.
He said: "We're talking about small, medium, struggling businesses around this country who would like to employ people but frankly are scared to because they are worried about the consequences if something goes wrong, about what an unfair dismissal claim is going to cost, about what you do in those situations.
"Our members say over-regulation, red tape around employment and the risk it puts you at is a disincentive to employ people."