Sainsbury’s boss Justin King has dismissed the Chancellor’s plan to let staff ‘swap’ workers’ rights for shares in their employers.

Speaking at yesterday’s IGD Convention, King said the public would be unforgiving of businesses that looked to trade “good employment practice for greater share ownership”.

“This is not something for our business,” he said of the proposal. “The population at large don’t trust business. What do you think the population at large will think of businesses that want to trade employment rights for money?”

His comments come in response to George Osborne’s proposal that companies could offer their workers thousands of pounds in exchange for waiving rights over unfair dismissal, redundancy and flexible working.

“Sainsbury’s has well established colleague share ownership schemes but does not think this type of scheme should be linked to reduced employment rights,” he said.

“The Government could better drive our country’s growth agenda by reducing the barriers to employment and lowering National Insurance.”