This paper explores the issue of workers’ voice within corporate governance.
Company law and corporate governance in the UK prioritise the interests of shareholders over those of workers and other stakeholders. In addition, the UK – unlike the majority of other European countries – has no mechanism for worker voice or representation within its corporate governance system. There are no formal systems for ensuring that the interests of workers are taken into account in company decision-making, nor that the views of the workforce are heard or understood by company boards.
The TUC has long been critical of the priority given to shareholders in the UK’s corporate governance system and has argued for many years that company law should be reformed to give greater priority to long-term company success and stakeholder interests alongside those of shareholders.
However, even with these reforms, workers would still have no rights to representation or voice within corporate governance in the UK. This paper argues that alongside reforms to remove the priority currently given to the interests of shareholders, mechanisms for workers’ voice should be introduced into the UK’s corporate governance system