BIS listen to EOA and members on EO Status


The EOA welcomes the decision by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to remove the term “Employee Owner” from the Growth and Infrastructure Bill currently making its’ way through the House of Commons, but rejects new label.


Employee Ownership Association CEO Iain Hasdell said:


“We welcome news that Government plans to remove the term “employee owner” from the Growth and Infrastructure Bill after listening to the concerns employee owners and employee owned businesses have expressed over recent weeks.

“However, Ministers still need to clearly differentiate between existing employee owners and shareholders and the proposed new voluntary category of worker.

“Our view remains that the label given to this new employment status needs to reflect the fact that in order to qualify, workers must give up fundamental workplace rights. The new wording now proposed by Government still does not sufficiently distinguish between this initiative and genuine employee ownership or employee shareholding.”

The decision to remove the term “Employee Owner” follows vocal opposition from our member businesses and the employee owners within them. Members have been alarmed at Government proposals that seek to redefine the term employee owner and promotes a model in which worker rights on such matters as redundancy and unfair dismissal are removed, in return for tax breaks on shares they might own in a business in which they work.

The views of our members on these proposals were set out recently in an open letter to Jo Swinson MP, and in a further formal submission to the consultation, as well as in in two letters to the Bill committee. They are available for download here.

There is no need to dilute the rights of workers in order to grow employee ownership and no data to suggest that doing so would significantly boost the number of employee owners. Indeed all of the evidence is that employee ownership in the UK is growing and the businesses concerned thriving, because they enhance not dilute the working conditions and entitlements of employee owners.

You can read the full Government reaction to the consultation responses it received here.