Theresa May to put employees on company boards

Posted On: 
11th July 2016

Theresa May will today set out plans to give workers a seat on company boards as she pledges to put the Conservatives “at the service of working people”.

Theresa May is to make a speech in Birmingham today
Credit: 
PA Images

The Home Secretary will make a speech on inequality and social issues at the beginning of the head-to-head battle between her and Andrea Leadsom to win support from Tory members to be the next leader.

As well as giving employees and consumers a place on company’s boards, Ms May will also call for the annual shareholder vote on executive pay to become binding, rather than advisory.

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“Under my leadership, the Conservative party will put itself - completely, absolutely, unequivocally - at the service of working people,” she will say.

Warning that existing boardrooms are often made up of “narrow social and professional circles” who fail to provide adequate scrutiny of how firms are run, she will add:

“If I'm prime minister, we're going to change that system – and we're going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well...

“We're the Conservative party, and yes, we're the party of enterprise – but that does not mean we should be prepared to accept that 'anything goes'.”

She added in an article for The Times previewing the speech: “We need an economy that works for everyone.

"Because it is apparent to anybody who is in touch with the real world that people do not feel our economy works that way at all.”

In addition to her comments about economic inequality, Ms May will rail against racial and class injustice.

“If you're born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others.

"If you're black, you're treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you're white.

“If you're a white, working-class boy, you're less likely than anybody else to go to university. If you're at a state school, you're less likely to reach the top professions than if you're educated privately.

"If you're a woman, you still earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there's too often not enough help to hand. If you're young, you'll find it harder than ever before to own your own home...

"These are the reasons why, under my leadership, the Conservative party will put itself – completely, absolutely, unequivocally – at the service of working people.”