Clause 1 - Employee share ownership plans

Part of Employee Share Schemes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 27th February 2002.

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Photo of Mark Lazarowicz Mark Lazarowicz Labour/Co-operative, Edinburgh North and Leith 10:30 am, 27th February 2002

I declare my thanks for the support that I have received in drafting my Bill from the Co-operative party and Job Ownership Ltd., both of which are recorded in my entry in the Register of Members' Interests.

Amendment No. 1 reflects the commitment that I made on Second Reading to take account of various concerns that my hon. Friend the Paymaster General had raised by removing subsections (2) to (4), which had been designed to allow the introduction of a share incentive plan by companies that are owned wholly by employees or by a majority of employees, such as the John Lewis Partnership.

The amendment reflects the Government's concern, shared on Second Reading by the Conservative party, about the cost of extending share incentive plans to such groups. It also reflects the Government's concern, which I accept is a real one, that a share incentive plan should not allow employees to be awarded shares that are inferior to those held by other shareholders. Given the welcome commitment by the Paymaster General on Second Reading actively to consider extending the share incentive plan scheme to trusts and employee-owned companies, I ask the Committee to agree to amendment No. 1.

Amendment No. 8 is consequential.

Amendment agreed to.