News


Flying the flag for employee ownership

By Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA As I watched the BAFTAs earlier this month, I was struck by how many of the presenters and winners used the awards as a platform to air their support for the BBC whilst it wrestles with the renegotiation of its Charter. With many of those fortunate to be on stage choosing this broadcast celebration of film and television as the chance to add their voice to a campaign they feel passionate about, their efforts not only highlighted the power of the media, but the power of a shared voice. I was reminded of the strong parallels with the ...

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Celebrate your own success with the UK Employee Ownership Awards 2016

The annual UK Employee Ownership Awards are the most sought after accolades for all those involved in the employee ownership in the UK. The Awards are managed by the Employee Ownership Association and are sponsored again in 2016 by leading EOA member, Baxendale. Entering for one or more of the five Awards is an excellent opportunity for you to reflect with your team on the successes within your business and to celebrate your achievements. Last year’s award winners were great examples of the sectors’ best – with leading businesses including Gripple, Remploy, ...

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EOA Network Focus: South East

By Jamie Pyper, EOA South East Regional Network Coordinator It’s YOUR Network Becoming a member of the EOA seemed like a natural step for Conscious Business People (CBP). We were already employee owned and were working closely with other companies transitioning towards becoming employee owned, so, five years ago, we joined this hugely supportive and inspiring business community. We naturally wanted to be more involved once we became a member and were delighted to be asked to lead the coordination of the EOA Regional Network in the South East. This was a couple ...

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Be inspired and enthused at the EOA Conference 2016

Now in its eleventh year, the EOA Conference remains the preeminent event for anyone involved or interested in employee ownership. With an expected 550 delegates, the 2016 conference will be the biggest so far – and the EOA team and Board look forward to welcoming delegates from established employee owned businesses, those curious to explore how employee ownership might support their own businesses, industry experts, academics, government officials and the media to the biggest employee ownership party of the year! Over a two-day period, the Conference celebrates ...

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Let the countdown to EO Day commence!

As you all know, the fourth annual EO Day, which will take place on Friday 1st July this year, is fast approaching, with everything firmly in place to make the 2016 celebrations the biggest yet. Many of you have already shared details of your plans with us and we’re delighted to see what was once a one-day event grow into a full fortnight of member-led activities. To support the celebrations, we will, once again, be distributing goody bags – this year themed around ‘flying the flag’ for the sector. We’ll be asking all EOA members to get involved in some ...

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EO Today Member Spotlight: Remploy

   Winner of the Rising Star category at last year’s UK EO Awards, find out how a public service spin out into employee ownership enabled Remploy to fulfil its mission by delivering ‘profit with a purpose’ As the UK’s leading provider of disability employment since 1946, Remploy’s mission is to successfully support disabled people in achieving sustainable paid work in order to achieve economic and social independence. After 70 years as a government-owned, not-for-profit organisation, Remploy felt that its commercial growth was being significa...

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EO Today Member Spotlight: Gripple

From its headquarters in Sheffield, designer and manufacturer of precision engineering products, Gripple, supplies a range of patented products to the agricultural and industrial sectors in more than 80 countries worldwide. In 1994, Gripple introduced the opportunity to buy shares in the business as a means of advancing the highly inclusive and innovative culture already embedded in the company. Understanding that better business performance equals a better dividend, which in turn generates a higher personal share value, Gripple felt this direct ownership model would ...

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Telling the story of your ownership

Great marketing should always tell a compelling story that strives to evoke an emotional connection with your customers in order to encourage buy in to a brand, its vision and its values. For you, employee ownership is an intrinsic part of that story. Not simply because it is a dynamic business model that stimulates growth, or because a transition provides an economically viable succession plan – these things matter very little to the average customer, it’s much more about what that status says and how it makes them feel. With clever, strategic positioning, your ...

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New EOA Members: May 2016

Our membership continues to grow! Get to know some of the newest members of the Employee Ownership Association:         Bevan Healthcare is a social enterprise that is committed to helping people get the health care that they need. They provide responsive NHS General Practice services to people who are homeless or in unstable accommodation; those who have come to Bradford as refugees or to seek asylum; and others who find it hard to access health services.     “Greenshires is one of the largest suppliers of sophisticated ...

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EO Today Member Spotlight: KB2

EOA member KB2 was established by founder Ken Brown in 1982 with the aim of providing skilled, sensitive and collaborative approaches to structural engineering for architects, developers and others involved within the construction industry in the southern part of the UK. KB2 has worked on a number of projects in a wide variety of areas within the industry, whether new build projects or the sensitive conservation of historic buildings, and their success has been clear to see, with KB2 winning a whole host of awards including a Civic Trust Award, a Brick Development ...

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EO Today Member Spotlight: ESP Projects

Sheffield based ESP Projects was founded in 2002 to service the need in the third sector (i.e. charities and not-for-profit organisations) for cost effective I.T. solutions. Initially focusing on website support, the business has since expanded its service offering to become a full and comprehensive I.T. support service, including the installation and maintenance of telephone systems and other hardware. Starting life with a small element of employee ownership (less than 5%), currently 45.8% of ESP Projects is owned by its 26 employees under a direct share ownership ...

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EOA Network Focus: Midlands

By Philippa Meaden, EOA Midlands Regional Network Coordinator Since being involved with the EOA, my experience of being part of the Midlands Regional Network meetings has only been a positive one - not only from an involvement perspective, but also from being able to gain valuable knowledge and an opportunity to build a valuable network. Little did I know a year later I would be responsible for co-ordinating these network meetings. This February saw the first EOA Midlands Network meeting of 2016 in fantastic surroundings as our hosts were Classic Motor Cars Ltd. ...

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Can we get better than ‘Win/Lose’?

By Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA UK voters will shortly be presented with what is being heralded as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Union. This responsibility is likely to be the most important national decision many of us have been involved in.  And therefore it is not just disappointing, but also hugely frustrating, that the debate has already descending into ‘Project Fear’ - a politically influenced, accusation-rich, public slanging match, fuelled by the media which leaves most people confused and no ...

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New EOA Members: March 2016

Our membership continues to grow! Get to know some of the newest members of the Employee Ownership Association:   Go Tools Go Tools specialise in excellent precision tooling delivery within the north of England, and pride themselves on the experience and passion of their staff to deliver quality and value to customers. Their dedicated team has a combined 185 years of experience in design and build of precision tooling and producing quality products for our customers   IS Oxford IS Oxford is the designer and supplier of Heritage Library ...

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Will Hutton calls for the repurposing of enterprise at the annual Robert Oakeshott Lecture

Broadcaster, journalist and writer Will Hutton used his address at the Employee Ownership Association’s annual Robert Oakeshott Lecture to call for employee ownership to figure centrally as part of a national conversation about repurposing the UK economy. Reflecting on stalled economic growth, growing wealth inequality, a lack of innovation and low levels of productivity, over 150 guests gathered at Cass Business School and heard the author of recent best-seller ‘How Good We Can Be’ make a plea for UK business to clarify their purposes, in order to develop more ...

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EO Today Member Spotlight: Space Syntax

Leading urban planning, transport, building design, social interaction and spatial economics specialists Space Syntax was founded at University College London in 1989, and has recently made the transition to employee ownership. Based in London, the business operates as part of a group of companies with offices in Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Syndney and Tokyo.  It  works for a wide range of clients both internationally and domestically, on projects as diverse as a major public infrastructure project in the Middle-East, and acting in an advisory capacity with the UK ...

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EO Today Member Spotlight: Ecomerchant

New EOA member, Ecomerchant, is an independent builder’s merchant based in Swindon, servicing the self build, custom build and SME builders with sustainable building materials, renewable energy products, and landscaping and groundwork materials. Previously owned by WT Burden Ltd, who were themselves an employee owned business, the decision was made in 2014 by Will Kirkman, Managing Director of Ecomerchant, to make the move towards employee ownership. The business adopted an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) model, with 30% of the ordinary shares held for the benefit of ...

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New EOA Members: January 2016

Our membership continues to grow! Get to know some of the newest members of the Employee Ownership Association:   Agilisys Agilisys is one of the UK’s most innovative and fast growing digital technology and service providers, helping to transform customer service interactions through a suite of citizen-centric platforms as well as centres of delivery excellence around the UK. Working for both the public and private sector, we have earned a strong reputation and hold deep domain expertise delivering transformational services in particular within local and ...

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Conference Fever 2015

Conference fever hit the EOA at the end of 2015 as once again the EOA Annual Conference,  the largest gathering of UK employee owned businesses, attracted over 550 delegates from an array of organisations and industries who all descended upon the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham for two days of immersion into employee ownership. Sponsored in 2015 by Capital for Colleagues, the conference continues to be the most important annual event for the employee owned sector, bringing together business owners, public sector representatives and entrepreneurs aspiring to become ...

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Less New Year and more New Dawn?

By Deb Oxley, CEO of the EOA At the start of each New Year, most of us look with optimism and hope at what the next 12 months might deliver.  And with the usual excesses of the season behind us, we make promises and set targets to stop doing things – don’t eat certain things, don’t smoke, don’t drink (at least for a while!).  Unfortunately most of these big promises fail as they are too ambitious, forcing us to make too many big changes all at once, and they are about not doing the things we are used to doing. An alternative way of thinking might be that, ...

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EOA Annual Review 2015

The EOA would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and to provide you with a copy of the EOA Annual Review of 2015. 2015 was another highly successful year for employee ownership in the UK and you will see from the Review that the EOA once again was at the heart of every significant development. All that we do to grow employee ownership is only possible with the support of our Members and we thank you for your continued commitment. I hope you enjoy reflecting on last year. Please do share the Review with your colleagues and any would-be employee owners in your ...

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EOA Christmas Opening Times

The EOA offices will close at 5pm on Wednesday 23rd December until Friday 1st January 2016 inclusive. Everyone from the EOA would like to wish everyone in the employee owned sector a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Prospects’ Patrick Burns named winner of the Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award at the UK Employee Ownership Awards

Prospects were celebrating last night after their Director of Mutuals Development, Patrick Burns was awarded the Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award.

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Quintessa’s Dr David Hodgkinson named Employee Owner of the Year at the UK Employee Ownership Awards

Quintessa were celebrating last night after their Managing Director, Dr David Hodgkinson, was awarded the Employee Owner of the Year Award

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Green Light Healthcare named winner of the Innovation of the Year Award at the UK Employee Ownership Awards

Green Light Healthcare were celebrating last night after being awarded the Innovation of the Year Award by the BBC’s Martine Croxall at this year’s UK Employee Ownership Awards

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Remploy named Rising Star of the Year at the UK Employee Ownership Awards

Remploy were celebrating last night after being awarded the Rising Star of the Year Award by the BBC’s Martine Croxall at this year’s UK Employee Ownership Awards

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Gripple named Employee Owned Business of the Year at the UK Employee Ownership Awards

Gripple were celebrating last night after being awarded the Employee Owned Business of the Year by the BBC’s Martine Croxall, at this year’s UK Employee Ownership Awards

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EOA Appoints New Chief Executive

The Employee Ownership Association will have a new Chief Executive from October 2015

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Leading The Way

In his latest Chief Executive Blog Iain Hasdell discusses how the UK is now a leading European force on employee ownership.

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EOA marks EO Day 2015 with a brand new Investment Award

The EOA marks annual celebrations by announcing the winner of a brand new award

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EOA launches new guide on employee ownership in public services

EOA launches a new guide for organisations in the public services exploring 'spinning out' - a transition to employee ownership

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Taking the Chance

In his latest Chief Executive Blog Iain Hasdell discusses how the July UK Budget can help keep the employee ownership sector booming.

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EOA Summer Dinner 2015

Jesse Norman MP delivers keynote speech urging sector to strive for more growth

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Our Leap Forward

In his latest Chief Executive Blog, Iain Hasdell discusses the remarkable growth of employee ownership in the UK.

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Glide


A Silk Hat

Iain discusses the General Election and the resurgence of employee ownership in the last three years...

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Making The Case For Employee Ownership

The growing importance of employee ownership to the UK economy, and in particular to increasing rates of productivity, was the message of Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership at last week’s annual Robert Oakeshott Lecture.

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Guide to Structuring Employee Ownership

The Employee Ownership Association and leading employee ownership legal firm Postlethwaite have collaborated to produce a  Guide to Structuring Employee Ownership. Published today and free to download the guide is for those in the very early stages of considering employee ownership. Deb Oxley, Director of Membership, EOA, said: "This is an invaluable guide providing specialist advice for those considering taking the journey towards employee ownership and complements our previous publication, the How to Get Started Guide.  The guide navigates the reader through the ...

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A Better Way of Doing Business

Employee ownership remains the fastest growing form of business in the UK...

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Inspire EO

Representatives from a wide range of business and public service organisations joined together today for Inspire EO - a conference specifically designed for those who want to find out more about employee ownership

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Phenomenal Year Ahead

Monthly blog from the EOA's Chief Executive Iain Hasdell...

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The Empirical Case for EO

Deb Oxley, Director of Membership for the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) last night addressed a gathering of accountants, bankers, business owners and advisers hosted by Shakespeare's legal services in Milton Keynes

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Robert Oakeshott Lecture 2015

Tickets are now available for the annual Robert Oakeshott lecture

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The Unstoppable Rise of Employee Ownership

Iain Hasdell, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association writes in the run-up to the Inspire EO Conference, dedicated to developing employee ownership in the UK

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Mould in Our Hands

It has been a brilliant, unprecedented twelve months for employee ownership in the UK....

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Annual Review 2014

A Successful Year in the Decade of Employee Ownership.

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EOA Chief Executive delivers annual Jack Fitzpatrick memorial lecture

Iain Hasdell, Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association delivered the annual Jack Fitzpatrick memorial lecture in Dublin last night.

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Research Reveals Employee Ownership Leaders Are Unique

Richard Elsner, Founder, Pivotal Moment Leadership Development shares his recent findings, revealed at the EOA Annual Conference, on common features in leadership practice shared amongst employee owned businesses.

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Colchester Print Group Becomes Employee Owned

Members of the Employee Ownership Association, the Colchester Print Group,  were celebrating their successful transition into employee ownership today. The move provides the company with a succession plan and they become part of one of the UK's thriving  sectors. Deb Oxley, Director of Membership, Employee Ownership Association (EOA) said: " We've worked very closely with Philip and the team at the Colchester Print Group throughout their move to employee ownership. They are now part of a growing sector that contributes £30bn annually to the UK economy. Employee owned ...

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Employee Ownership Annual Conference 2014

Over 500 delegates from a diverse range of businesses and public service organisations including; the John Lewis Partnership, Unipart, the Cabinet Office, Handelsbanken, and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills gathered in Nottingham earlier this week for the Employee Ownership Association's (EOA) annual conference, the UK's only annual event dedicated to employee ownership. The conference was sponsored by the Childbase Partnership and Arup. Opening the day's proceedings, Chief Executive of the EOA Iain Hasdell paid tribute to how those who worked in the ...

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The Very Best Employee Owned Companies Celebrated

The winners of the 2014 Philip Baxendale awards have been revealed, the awards are the UK's only dedicated celebration of achievement in employee ownership and are supported by the John Lewis Partnership, Cass Business school, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  The winners were announced at the Employee Ownership Association's annual conference in Nottingham. They include: Employee Ownership Champion Award, Teresa Gooch - East Coast Community Healthcare, Suffolk Employee Engagement Award, Turley, Manchester Employee ...

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Employee Ownership in Britain 2014

The initial findings from a major new piece of research by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) and the White Rose Centre for Employee Ownership provides the first definitive assessment of employee ownership in Britain. The findings will be announced by Iain Hasdell, Chief Executive of the EOA at the annual Employee Ownership Association conference in Nottingham today. The research reveals: 
That almost half, 46%, of the companies surveyed have become employee owned since 2010 and 70% of those surveyed have seen the quality of their products and services ...

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Our Hidden Deficit

A hugely positive outcome of the 2008/9 financial crash has been the emergence of a broad consensus on one of the biggest challenge facing the UK economy and our public services. It has taken a long time. But there is now a growing understanding amongst politicians across the spectrum, business leaders, and opinion formers that we have to overcome our productivity deficit. There is an acceptance that it needs to be dramatically improved at pace. We are on average 20% behind our main industrialised competitors when it comes to private sector productivity. And in our ...

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Philip Baxendale Award – Championing the cause of employee ownership

Following over a decade of employee ownership at the company, Childbase Partnership is in the top 12 per cent of UK providers of childcare and education; one of only 108 UK companies to be rated ‘Extraordinary’ by Best Companies, and has won prestigious awards for quality and innovative training programmes. Awards are great motivators but the annual Philip Baxendale Award scheme is different because it not only recognises excellence amongst the employee-owned sector’s highest performing organisations but also celebrates the individual’s role as a major ...

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A Positive Pause

General awareness of employee ownership, particularly amongst businesses, advisors, funders and politicians has risen to unprecedented levels. Familiarity with the long termism and high productivity it delivers is also rapidly rising, buoyed by the phenomenal success of UK Employee Ownership Day 2014 last month. EO Day 2014 was the most successful single initiative ever mounted in the UK to profile the extent and benefits of employee ownership. Critically, the evidence base about employee ownership has been getting stronger throughout this year as well. The number ...

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EOA Summer Dinner 2014

Speaking at the event he said: "Employee ownership is a great business model that had played a huge role in our economic recovery" and that "the security it provided for employees and their families should be celebrated." A long -standing supporter of employee ownership, Mr Alexander said he wanted to see the business model grow "further and faster" but that "the biggest barrier was awareness". Closing his remarks he said "We all want workers across the country to have a stake in, voice in and benefit from the companies they work for." A total of 150 leaders of ...

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Modernising the UK

So let us focus instead on a different and much more positive debate about the UK establishment, in this case the business and economic establishment. The business and economic establishment, and I include here the majority of financiers, professional advisors, politicians, civil servants, policy advisors and business leaders, support or at least accept a particular paradigm. The paradigm is of an economy with a disproportionately high number of businesses that are externally owned and operate with a dominant goal of driving near term external shareholder value. An ...

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EOA publishes new data on the economic performance of employee ownership

4th July 2014 – The Employee Ownership Association (EOA), the voice of employee owned businesses in the UK, has today, UK Employee Ownership Day 2014, published compelling new data on the contribution that employee owned businesses make to the UK economy. [.lead] Compiled by Capital Strategies, The Employee Ownership Top 50 illustrates the performance of the largest 50 employee owned companies in the UK. Speaking at the launch of the report EOA Chief Executive Iain Hasdell said: “Employee ownership contributes some £30bn to UK GDP each year and is a growing ...

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Neighbourhood Midwives; The John Lewis of midwifery?

So, here were four strong-minded independent midwives who had chosen to be self-employed and who had vowed never to work for someone else again. Having to create an employing organisation that would meet all the necessary governance standards, to obtain insurance and CQC registration, but still allow us to feel and work as autonomous practitioners was a huge challenge. Midwifery has a proud tradition of autonomy; we do not need to be supervised by a medical practitioner and we have our own Code of Conduct and supervisory system. It was therefore vital to us that our ...

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EOA celebrates new Government measures to stimulate growth of employee ownership

This eagerly anticipated announcement was initially proposed in last year’s Budget, when an investment of £50m per annum was pledged, later increased to £75m per annum, to support the growth of employee ownership. Today’s Finance Bill has officially confirmed that, as of 6th April 2014, any UK business owner who sells a controlling interest to their employees via an employee ownership Trust, will be given Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief on the entirety of the proceeds, effectively an exemption. Additional employee ownership incentives confirmed in the Finance ...

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2014 Robert Oakeshott Memorial Lecture

This year’s theme was employee ownership in UK public services. The Lecture was delivered by Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office. The formal Response was delivered by Steve Melton, Chief Executive of Circle Partnership, a prominent EOA Member working across the health economy. In the historic setting of Chartered Accountants Hall, the home of the ICAEW, a packed audience of invited guests were inspired by the calls that both speakers made for more employee ownership in the delivery of UK public services. Francis Maude announced in his Lecture a ...

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Treasury Minister Supports Boost for 21st Century Employee Ownership

The speech marks a stepping stone towards achieving significant changes in the way businesses in the UK operate. The Minister will say:  “Working for an employee owned organisation has a particular appeal for many people and produces a number of personal, social and economic benefits, including higher levels of engagement and productivity. The government is fully committed to the sector and has recently made £75 million available to it in the form of tax incentives.” Iain Hasdell, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, will say: “The Employee Owners...

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EOA CEO Delighted at Increased Support for Employee Owners in #AS2013

“Today’s confirmation of new tax incentives for employee ownership, and the announcement of an extra £25m funding for them, taking the figure to £75m each year from next April, is very welcome news. The Employee Ownership Association has been calling for these measures for some time now and our Members are pleased to see that they will now be implemented and properly funded. “This Autumn Statement marks another key step towards our target of 10% of GDP being delivered by employee owned businesses by 2020, a target that has been widely endorsed, including by ...

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EO Day 2014

For a summary of the stunning day of celebrations and events across the UK CLICK HERE.

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Nuttall One Year On & Call for Evidence on Perpetuity Launched

In partnership with the City of London Corporation, and the Department for Business, Industry and Skills the EOA co-hosted a well-attended launch event in London’s financial district. Business Minister Jo Swinson MP introduced the report and chaired an hour long meeting with contributions from Nuttall Review author Graeme Nuttall, EOA CEO Iain Hasdell and a panel of businesses who each developed employee ownership within their companies during the period of the Review. Tech start-up Gamevy explained that they used employee ownership to attract talented staff in ...

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Ambitious for a Decade of Employee Ownership

Employee ownership is not new. In fact it is a proven model of business where employees have both a voice in how the business is run through direct engagement and a stake in its success. Employee ownership can be found in a diverse range of sectors across the UK, from manufacturing to retail, engineering to healthcare and consultancy to publishing. We are all familiar with successful companies such as Unipart Group, Mott MacDonald, John Lewis Partnership, Arup, and CH2MHill, but there are many more that have placed a controlling part of the business in the hands of ...

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Introducing Employee Ownership to a Law Firm

So we are now Postlethwaite Solicitors Limited (trading as Postlethwaite, Employee Ownership Lawyers), which means that our staff can now become shareholders. As a law firm specialising in employee ownership, we are committed to involving as many of our team in our ownership as law firm regulation will allow. Why are we doing this, and how do we plan to go about it? I am convinced that spreading the ownership will help us become a better business.   I think that everyone can be motivated by sharing in our ownership.  Whilst we are fortunate in that each ...

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Employee Ownership: A View From The (Cutting) Edge

Founded in July 1932 by Mr WR Swann and Mr JA Morton to manufacture and sell razor blades, even before they began trading the founders drew up a philosophy based on four principles to guide them in their entry into the capitalist world: Claims of individuals producing in an industry came first, before anything else, and must always remain first. They are the human beings on which everything is built. If the industry cannot pay the rightful reward of labour (while they are producing for profit for the owners) then a new policy is required on the part of the ...

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Employee ownership: A Viable Exit Strategy

Is there another way? A new variation on the theme which is gathering pace is the idea of transferring the business into the ownership of employees generally. There is no single model for this but it may be based on any or all of the following circumstances : the owner does not wish to pass control to a competitor who may simply take the business and dispense with the services of anyone  who  does not fit the new corporate culture , the owner is attracted by the proposition, supported by substantial academic research, that businesses owned by their employees ...

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Future Healthcare Together

One of the problems in this model is the disconnect between the shareholders, the people actually delivering the service and the customers. All too often the emphasis is put on the financial return rather than on delivering the service that the customer actually wants or needs. This can be seen in the mis-selling of PPI, pensions and other financial services. Because this business model of shareholders is accepted as the norm it has become increasingly popular in dentistry - and our fear is that these same pressures to create the return will, and indeed are, ...

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A Fairer Share of Capitalism

This year’s £210.8m bonus pay-out is a reflection of continued success across the John Lewis Partnership. With a 27% increase on last year (£165.2m last year), following a 9.3% rise in sales to £9.5bn, it’s clear that consumers believe in the values of an employee owned business and value excellent service alongside high quality goods. At Waitrose and John Lewis we understand that times are tight for our customers, and for our Partners. Indeed up and down the high street, well-known brands are struggling in challenging economic circumstances. We were ...

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Divine Inspiration!

At Divine our world is chocolate, but what drives us is being able to show that world can be different – and more people can benefit. Divine is a chocolate company on a mission… to deliver a sublime experience to chocolate lovers everywhere, while raising the bar on what it means to trade fairly with farmers, and do business better.  It’s the amazing story behind Divine that has had such an impact, and changed how people think about chocolate for ever. Back in 1997 a cocoa farmers’ co-operative in Ghana called Kuapa Kokoo ( ‘Good cocoa farmers’ in Twi) ...

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New Research Finds Employee-led Businesses are Happier and Healthier than their counterparts

Speaking at a joint EOA / Cabinet Office event, EOA Chief Executive Iain Hasdell said: “It is unsurprising that employee owners feel more empowered and in control than other workers. Being an employee owner is not simply about ownership of shares – directly or indirectly – but empowerment and involvement in decisions about the business. So it’s heartening to see that job satisfaction is higher amongst employee owners, with 4 out of 5 happy to recommend their organisation as a place to work. He continued: “This new report shows that people in employee-owned ...

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West Highland Free Press – the UK’s only employee owned paper

The West Highland Free Press became Britain’s first employee-owned newspaper in October 2009, and as we move into our 4th year of employee ownership, we still remain the only UK newspaper to have followed this business model. To understand why we chose to become employee-owned, you first need a little back ground history about the Free Press and the industry as a whole. The Free Press was founded in 1972, and since its birth, formed an enviable reputation for the quality of its hard-hitting, campaigning journalism as well as a keen sense of how a newspaper should ...

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Workplace Rights and Employee Ownership

Following the publication of the Nuttall Review earlier this year, a new consultation "Implementing Employee Owner Status" was launched by Ms Swinson on 18 October, closing 8 November. You can read our formal response to the consultation here. The Department for Communities and Local Government introduced The Government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill for its first reading in the House of Commons on 18 October – containing proposals to create “a new employment status ‘employee-owner’ in order to increase the range of employment options businesses may ...

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Nick Clegg Opens New EOA Office in Sheffield

The EOA’s chief executive, Iain Hasdell, was joined by Gripple Chairman Hugh Facey and a number of other local employee owned business representatives to witness Mr Clegg ‘cutting the ribbon’ and to participate in a question and answer roundtable. Nick Clegg MP said: “I am a strong advocate of co-owned firms because they put more people in the driving seat and allow employees to reap the benefits of their hard work. All the evidence shows that these companies are more successful and leading to faster economic growth. You only have to look at Sheffield’s ...

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