Government ‘considering options’ for employee representation on company boards

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Photo: Philip Toscano/

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The Government is looking at the options for meeting Theresa May’s promise to give workers a seat on company boards, Business Secretary Greg Clark has said.

As the Prime Minister prepares to address the CBI today, Mr Clark said the Government was committed to publishing its proposals before the end of the year.

The plan has alarmed some, but Mr Clark said ministers were working with business on how it can be implemented.

“There are different ways of doing this,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“Theresa May has talked about an economy that works for everyone - that includes workers, employees, consumers, the supply chain businesses - so we will put forward a series of ways in which those voices can be represented on boards.

“We will publish those plans. We will have options. We are working with business.

“It is very important that the confidence that the employees in every part of the country have that very successful British business works for them is something that Theresa May and this Government takes very much to its heart and we are acting on Mr Clark denied the Cabinet was “at war” over the Government’s negotiating strategy for leaving the EU, with ministers like Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox, who campaigned for Leave in the referendum, demanding a “hard Brexit”.

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After Mr Johnson suggested Britain would “probably” leave the EU customs union, Mr Clark said that, while it was “right and proper” for discussions to take place within Government ahead of the formal negotiations, ministers would take the views of business into account.

“I think what is necessary is to make sure that you are well-informed as to what business needs out of those negotiations, that you take a sober and serious approach in pulling them together before you begin those negotiations. That is what we are doing,” he said.

It was important to understand that there would be a “multilateral negotiation, not a unilateral demand” and that the UK needed to do what it could to find “common ground” with the remaining member states.

“Sometimes that takes a bit of time to do but that is, in my experience, the best way to get a successful outcome,” said Mr Clark.