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Employee shareholders

This new type of employment status was introduced to provide employers with greater flexibility over the way in which they employ, manage and dismiss staff.
In return for waiving certain statutory employment rights, employee shareholders own a share of the employer's business.

Key points

Employee shareholders:
  • should not be confused with employees participating in company share scheme for the purposes of Employment Rights Act 1996
  • must be given a written statement of particulars explaining their rights in relation to employment and their shares
  • do not have the right to request flexible working or time off for training
  • cannot claim ordinary unfair dismissal or a statutory redundancy payment
  • are required to give 16 weeks' notice of an early return from maternity or adoption leave
  • can request flexible working if the request is made within 14 days of a return from parental leave
  • must take independent legal advice before a valid employee shareholder agreement can be formed.