Calls for workers to sit on company boards

Allowing workers to sit on company boards would not only mean top executives’ pay was set at more reasonable levels, but would also encourage the long-term success of individual firms, as both employees and directors worked together in the best interests of company performance, according to two reports published by the TUC.

The TUC has long argued that corporate governance laws in the UK are missing a trick by preventing worker representatives from sitting on remuneration committees. It also sees an important role for workers on boards as a way for companies to emerge stronger from the economic crisis.

In the two reports – one looking at the European experience and the other setting out the arguments why the UK should set out on a similar path – the TUC argues that the UK’s short-termist approach (based on a model relying solely on shareholders to hold companies to account) has delivered neither economic success nor social justice.

Commenting on the reports, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Achieving a true worker voice across Britain’s workplaces is at the heart of the TUC’s new campaign plan. Seats for the workforce on company boards would help inject a much-needed dose of reality into boardrooms and put the brakes on the multi-million pay and bonus packages which are fast becoming the norm in corporate Britain.

“The move would also help put firms on a clear trajectory out of the economic difficulties many UK companies are currently facing and assist boards to focus on the strategies and investments needed for long-term company success."

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