Theresa May, during her campaign and at the beginning of her
term as prime minister, repeatedly committed to introducing worker
representation on company boards as part of her corporate
governance reform package. The news at the beginning of October
flashed with headlines such as "Worker reps on company boards
could happen within a year if PM makes good on her commitment"
– "if", as it turns out, being the operative word,
as May has now announced that such representation will not be a
When challenged on this backtrack, May argued that there are
"other routes that use existing board structures, complemented
or supplemented by advisory councils or panels, to ensure all those
with a stake in the company are properly represented". May has
stated that there is still to be reform in this area but that this
will not create a more European-style binary board system (for
example, in Germany, workers' voices are kept separate from the
running of the company), as May argues that "our unitary
boards have served us well and will continue to do so". This
is despite concerns that the UK is falling behind its European
counterparts by not having such representation at board level.
Only time will tell what these reforms will look like and
whether or not they will actually encourage and increase worker
representation on boards.
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An assignment of rights under a contract is normally restricted to the benefit of the contract. Where a party wishes to transfer both the benefit and burden of the contract this generally needs to be done by way of a novation.
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