Labour government would make companies give a third of seats on boards to workers

Posted On: 
23rd September 2018

Workers would be allocated a third of the seats on their companies’ boards under a Labour government, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

Labour will host its four-day autumn conference in Liverpool from today
PA Images

Amid a raft of new proposals unveiled ahead of the party’s conference, the Labour leader said it was time to rein in the “reckless corporate culture” of low-pay and longer hours.

He added that giving employees a “seat at the table” would allow them to reduce “exploitative practices” and shift power away from those at the top.

John McDonnell: Labour will give workers financial stake in companies

Theresa May vows crackdown on bosses who 'line their pockets' while workers lose out

Theresa May U-turns on plan for workers on company boards

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Mr Corbyn outlined that at least two board members, or a third of the board, whichever is the higher number, must be workers. 

Furthermore, those who stand for the posts should be members of a trade union – in a move that could hand more power to the party’s biggest donors.

The policy was previously mooted by Theresa May after she took over as Tory leader, however it was subsequently parked amid opposition from business groups.

The Labour leader however said that the move would transform the country’s “broken economic model”.

“Workers are Britain’s real wealth creators. They deserve a seat at the table," he said.

“In workplaces across the country, working hours have got longer, productivity has nosedived, pay has fallen and insecurity has risen.

“Businesses have been allowed to get away with such exploitative practices because the balance of power has shifted against workers. That has allowed a reckless corporate culture to fester which is damaging Britain’s economy.

“Labour will turn the tide and give workers more control and a real say at work.”


The pledge comes as Labour also prepares to announce a levy on tens of thousands of holiday homes in Britain.

The party believe the policy, which could affect around 174,000 homes, would raise around £560m.

It says the funds would be used to allow councils to tackle homelessness, and in particular the growing number of children living in temporary accommodation.

The charge would be based on a property’s council tax band, and represent a doubling of its council tax bill.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “Over the last eight years, the government has turned its back on the scandal of poor housing and homelessness,” he said.

“A housing market that works for the many, needs government action to ensure everyone has a place to call home."