Employee Owned News






W/B Monday 3 February 2014

  • Final Opportunity to Respond to Two Key Government Consultations – Read EOA Responses

Since the publication of the 2012 Review of employee ownership in the UK “Sharing Success”,, significant steps have been taken to reduce barriers preventing the growth of UK employee ownership. Before Christmas the Government launched a “Call for Evidence” on the restrictions around the perpetuity of Employee Benefit Trusts in the UK, and a further opportunity was offered by HM Treasury to comment on measures incorporated in the 2014 Finance Bill (don’t be deterred by the “consultation closed” notice on the website). You can read the EOAs response to the BIS consultation on perpetuities here and to the Treasury recommendations in the Finance Bill here, and if you are a member or supporter who plans to respond please feel free to quote from our own submissions. The Treasury consultation closes on Tuesday 4th February and final comments should be shared with BIS by no later than the 19th February.

  • Welcome to new members Pivotal Moment Leadership Development Ltd

We are delighted to welcome Pivotal Moment Leadership Development Ltd into the EOA network. Pivotal Moment Leadership Development Ltd was founded in 2013 to fill a gap in the market and to enable its founder to fulfil his long-standing interest in ‘democratic leadership’. The firm provides social movements, employee-owned companies, mutuals and cooperatives with practical and road-tested means to develop their desired style and practice of leadership. It is working in the UK, France and the USA. You can read more about the firm on its website at www.pivotal-moment.eu.


W/B Monday 27 January 2014

  • White Rose Employee Ownership Centre Issues Call for Papers for International Conference on Employee Ownership Research and Practice

From 2nd-3rd April 2014 the York based White Rose Employee Ownership Centre will host an International Conference on Employee Ownership Research and Practice. The conference will showcase current research on employee ownership, employee share schemes, share options, profit sharing, workers’ co-operatives, public service mutuals, and employee-led social enterprises. All who work in these areas, whether as researchers or practitioners, are invited to attend and there will be a strong emphasis on the implications of research findings for practice at policy, corporate, employee, and community levels. The Centre are still accepting proposals for presentations at the conference. Papers are invited on all aspects of employee ownership and financial participation and from all disciplinary perspectives (Economics, Management, Political Science, Sociology to name but four). To present at the conference please submit an abstract of up to 750 words including information on the main scope and approach of the paper, methodology, findings (if an empirical paper), and its contribution to employee-ownership-conference@york.ac.uk. Abstracts should be submitted by early February.

  • Beakbane encourages young engineers

Kidderminster-based Beakbane is helping to encourage the engineers of tomorrow by supporting a new engineering club at a local school, Baxter College. The first project for the club, which is also supported by local car dealership, Hills Ford, will be to build and race an electrically powered car in the national IET Formula 24 competition. The link between Beakbane and Baxter College came via local Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier, who had visited both and realised that there would be a mutual benefit in putting the two together after hearing that Beakbane was looking for an opportunity to encourage young people in the area to develop engineering skills and make their careers in the sector. The MP was told about the difficulty of finding the right apprentices and heard that the company wanted to work with children aged up to 16 to fire up the passion for engineering at an early age so that they would choose it as a career. The 12 members of the club, two girls and ten boys, all aged between 14 and 16, meet once a week after school in their own time. The car comes as a basic kit and the club will design and make additional parts such as the body shell. 

  • Gripple Women Back New Campaign to Redress Industrial Gender Imbalance

Gripple Limited staff joined businesses and thought leaders from across the UK to celebrate the launch of Women in Manufacturing (WiM) – an  initiative to build and sustain the pool of female talent in engineering and manufacturing. The Sheffield based precision manufacturers were represented by the company’s internal sales manager Emma Hibbert and Catherine King, its sales marketing co-ordinator. In the UK, fewer than one in ten science, technology, engineers and mathematics (STEM) managers is female and only 8.7 per cent of professional engineers are women. The UK has the lowest proportion of female engineering professionals across the EU states, compared to Sweden with 26 per cent and Bulgaria with 29 per cent.


W/B Monday 13 January 2014

  • Beakbane Help Customers With a Drink Problem

Customers at a leading high street bookmakers can now enjoy coffee and tea on demand, thanks to new units designed and manufactured by employee owned Beakbane. The innovative Kidderminster based manufacturers designed and manufactured cup storage and dispensing units as part of a contract to provide a hot drinks service to a chain of betting shops across the country. Against a brief focussing on cost, sustainability and visual appeal, the team produced 1,900 of the mild steel fabrications units over a ten-week period and sourced special packaging for the individual units so that they could be despatched direct to site for installation without having to re-pack them. Beakbane complements its machine protection product portfolio with a contract design and manufacturing service for metal fabrications and you can read more about them here.

  • Employee share ownership boosts productivity, show latest figures

FTSE-listed companies that encouraged employees to buy shares outperformed those that did not by as much as 30% last year, according to figures tracked by the UK Employee Share Ownership Index (EOI). The select 69 companies delivered total average returns of 53.3% in 2013; well above the 20.9% average returns delivered by all 623 companies on the FTSE All-Share Index. The EOI measures the share price performance of companies in the All-Share Index of which employees own more than 3% of the total equity. Capital Strategies initially began tracking the performance of companies that were 10% or more employee-owned in 1995. Since June 2013, the index has been officially linked to FTSE and calculated using FTSE index methodology, which uses the 3% threshold and includes dividend payments as well as changes in the price of shares. Companies for inclusion in the index are identified from public disclosures, meaning that it does not necessarily include every company eligible for inclusion. The EOI shows that companies with employee ownership outperformed the FTSE All-Share in each of the last six quarters and in the final quarter of 2013 the EOI was up 12.5%, against 5.5% on the FTSE All-Share. Read more here.


W/B Monday 6 January 2014

  • Peers discuss employee share ownership

This week in the House of Lords Business Minister Viscount Younger of Leckie debated employee share ownership with Peers from all parties. He told the house that since the introduction of the Employee Shareholder status in September 2013 there had been over 15,000 views of the online guidance. Labour peer Lord Mitchell, who initiated the discussion, challenged the Minister saying that he and fellow peers had "argued passionately against the shares for workers' rights scheme" and citing a recent FOI request to BIS revealing that only 19 enquiries had been received by the Business department about implementing the new measures. Adopting a more conciliatory tone, Conservative peer Lord Howell of Guildford asked "while employee share schemes may be less than perfect... does the Minister accept that the concept of spreading ownership as widely as possible in our society, turning earners into owners and enabling all parts of society to share fully in the asset growth of the nation, is a very good theme that all parties, and their leaders, should strongly encourage...?" To which the Minister agreed, citing the recently re-launched Employee Ownership Index as evidence of the improved performance of companies with significant employee ownership. You can read the whole exchange here.

  • Welcome to new members Handelsbanken

We are delighted to welcome Handelsbanken into the EOA network. Founded in 1871, Handelsbanken is one of Sweden's leading banks with over 780 branches in 24 countries, and more than 11,000 employees worldwide.  Their UK operations opened in 1982 and today they manage a network of 169 branches and 1400 staff nationwide. The UK bank has been independently ranked top for banking customer satisfaction and loyalty for the last five years, a position it has held in Sweden since surveys began in 1989. As a strongly decentralised bank, with customer decisions taken by branches rather than head office, they are committed to effective staff engagement. Long-term customer focus and resulting business success is rewarded through a profit-sharing system called the Oktogonen foundation, which invests employees' annual allocations into Handelsbanken shares, distributing the accumulated proceeds only when the individual turns 60. Handelsbanken's UK chief executive, Anders Bouvin, sees Oktogonen as "an integral part of our steering system". You can find out more about them here.

  • Welcome to new members Neighbourhood Midwives 

We are delighted to welcome Neighbourhood Midwives into the EOA network. Neighbourhood Midwives offers a new and unique service with benefits for both women and midwives. Conceived and developed by midwives, Neighbourhood Midwives are a 100% employee-owned midwifery mutual where every employee has a say in the organisation’s development through ‘one member one vote’ and via representation at board level. They are also a recognised social enterprise and commit the principle amount of any surplus they make back into helping the business achieve their social aims. You can read more about them here.


W/B Monday 23 December 2013

  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all at the EOA!


W/B Monday 16 December 2013

  • Welcome to new members Ethical SEO

We are delighted to welcome Ethical SEO into the EOA network. Ethical SEO was established in 2009 to provide an ethical partner for open, fair and interesting companies who want to be seen and heard online. Their unique, relationship-based approach blends communications know-how and the latest digital technologies with elements of psychology, sociology, culture and compassion. They don’t just work with “eco” enterprises. Nor do they think big business is bad. "Ethical basically means we do nice work with nice people in a nice way," explains MD Robin Dally. "We’re big believers in the power of relationships and human-centred digital marketing – that means content written for real people, not Google; SEO done ethically; relationships built on respect, transparency and mutual positive regard."  You can read more about them here.

  • Head of UK Civil Service Visits Groundbreaking New Employee Owned Mutual Joint Venture

The Head of the Civil Service, Department for Communities and Local Government, Sir Bob Kerslake, visited EOA members 3BM as part of his research into the Government's Mutuals Programme.  Meeting staff and finding out more about the groundbreaking mutual joint venture he concluded: "Perhaps the key benefit of the mutual model is that it enables entrepreneurial public sector staff to combine their passion for public service with more scope to improve delivery. It was fascinating to learn more about the Programme first-hand from the people who work on the front-line … I still feel buoyed by their optimism." You can read a guest blog about his visit on our website here.

  • New Survey Confirms Importance of Employee Engagement to NHS Care

A new survey conducted by Unipart Expert Practices and The Foundation Trust Network (FTN), the membership body for all provider trusts in England and today launched their joint report, confirms employee engagement is key to high quality NHS care. The partnership found that 97% of NHS trusts responding have systems in place for effective staff communication and supports a growing evidence base of the correlation between staff engagement and quality of care. The report “Realising the benefits of employee engagement” is based on an FTN survey sent to chief executives and human resources directors in summer 2013. Key findings about employee engagement in health include: it increases employee potential, enables effective decision-making and drives productivity and innovation; a major influence on an employee’s engagement is the relationship with the immediate manager, reflected in the day-to-day workplace climate – what the chief executive says only has marginal impact, and; authenticity and trust are essential. Employees will only speak up when they feel safe and when they know their opinions are both valued and will be acted on. You can read more on the Unipart Blog here.


W/B Monday 9 December 2013

  • Employee Ownership Video from Nuttall One Year On event      

Speaking at a recent EOA event organised in partnership with the Business Department and the Corporation of London, a number of employee ownership experts were interviewed by Co-Operative News. Hear their tips and advice below and read more about the event here:

  • Welcome to new members WATG

We are delighted to welcome WATG into the EOA network. The world’s leading design consultant for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries, WATG is best known for creating internationally-acclaimed destinations in 160 countries across six continents. With over 65 years history of designing destinations, WATG offers one-of-a-kind design services including planning, urban design, architecture, landscape, interior design and strategy for urban and resort destinations. Many of WATG's projects have become international landmarks, renowned not only for their design and sense of place but also for bottom-line success. You can read more about them here.

  • Congratulations to Glasgow Architects Page Park on their Move to Employee Ownership

Congratulations to Glasgow architectural practice Page Park on their move to employee ownership 32 years after being established by founders David Page and Brian Park in 1981. The firm’s turnover has risen 30% over the past two years to £3.5 million and the 40 strong staff team have designs on more growth after becoming employee-owned. The firm – which has worked on iconic projects such as the Lighthouse, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Rosslyn Chapel and Collegelands in Glasgow – intends to develop its award-winning business, particularly across the UK and Europe. EOA members Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS), Scottish Enterprise’s employee ownership support arm, provided initial support and guidance on ownership, governance and employee engagement. You can read more about their move here.

  • Welcome to new members Lupton Fawcett Denison Till

We are delighted to welcome Lupton Fawcett Lee & Priestley into the EOA network. Lupton Fawcett Denison Till are a well-established integrated commercial law firm with offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York. With a diverse team of nearly 300 passionate experts on staff, and a track record of over 100 years, their work spans SMEs and social businesses through to PLCs and multi-nationals. You can read more about them here. 

  • Sutcliffe Play Launches Schools Division

Employee-owned play equipment company Sutcliffe Play has launched a new division of the company, Sutcliffe Schools, headed up by a newly appointed Education Sales Manager. Simon Carson has 20 years’ experience in the education and childcare sectors and will lead on establishing the Sutcliffe Schools product range. Sutcliffe Play’s innovative design sets the company apart from the competition and the new role will help to reinforce Sutcliffe Play’s credentials as experts in play in the school and childcare sectors. You can read more about them here.


W/B Monday 2 December 2013

  • Welcome to new members Pett Franklin & Co LLP

We are pleased to welcome Pett Franklin & Co LLP into the EOA network. Pett Franklin & Co LLP are a specialist share schemes legal practice providing comprehensive and authoritative advice on all aspects of executive and employee incentives, share plans and corporate governance. A multidisciplinary law firm, they provide an integrated legal, tax and accounting service for all forms of employee share ownership. David Pett is the author and joint editor of Employee Share Schemes, the leading textbook on employee incentives and he recently advised the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the production of new standard documentation for employee owned companies. You can read more about them here.

  • Welcome to new members Tadea-UK 

We are delighted to welcome Tadea-UK into the EOA network. Tadea-UK is a group of companies providing specialist, sustainable project management and advice services. Established in 2002, their expertise includes energy efficiency, renewable technologies and sustainable transport. In August 2013 Tadea-UK became an employee-owned company – transferring ownership to employees in order to ensure that Tadea-UK staff members sit at the heart of the organisation’s decision-making processes. Tadea works closely with individuals, communities, businesses and the public sector, helping them to reduce the amount of energy they use at home, at work and whilst travelling. You can find out more about their work in sustainable project management and advice services in the carbon reduction sector here.

  • Video Interview with Employee Ownership Minister Jo Swinson MP

We recently worked with the Business Department and the Corporation of London to launch a report charting progress against the recommendations outlined in the Nuttall Review. You can read more about the event here.

Co-Operative News attended and filmed an interview with Employee Ownership Minister, Jo Swinson MP, on the day. You can watch it below:

  • Welcome to new members Stride Treglown 

We are pleased to welcome Stride Treglown into the EOA network.  The tenth largest architectural practice in the UK (AJ 100 survey 2013) with 8 offices in the UK and an office in the UAE; the company has a turnover of £14m with nearly 250 staff. They are an internationally established architectural practice, and providers of associated professional services across all business sectors. Based in Bristol, they put customer service at the heart of everything they do and have an 80% repeat business. You can read more about them here

  • Welcome to new members Bradford Council 

We are delighted to welcome new members City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council into the EOA network. The Council will continue to explore alternative ways of delivering services if they are considered to be cost-effective and will keep resources in the local economy to benefit local people wherever possible. As officers review the future commissioning and delivery of services across the authority and consider alternative delivery options the EOA network will work with them to ensure that the value for money and service outcomes achievable through staff-led mutuals and employee owned businesses are achieved for residents. Find out more here.


W/B Monday 25 November 2013

  • Welcome to new members The Small Axe 

We are delighted to welcome The Small Axe into the EOA network. Specialising in digital marketing and web design, this young and successful high tech company is growing quickly and has an impressive clientele, including many social enterprises, charities and social businesses, and are keen to help more employee owned businesses make the most of the their online communications. You can find out more here.

  • Gripple Work With More Leaders of the Future in their 2nd Graduate Recruitment Programme

 Following the outstanding success of last year’s graduate scheme, a second graduate recruitment programme at Sheffield-based Gripple Limited has led to the appointment of five more ‘potential leaders of the future’. The hand-picked quintet were chosen from over 300 applicants and are currently at work in various departments at the employee-owned Sheffield-based manufacturer. The successful graduates this year are Katie Filson, who has a degree in international business with French from Sheffield Hallam University; Samuel Lee, with a degree in business and management from the University of Chester; Ewan Gilfillan, who gained a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Sheffield; James Kennedy, with a 1st class degree in business and enterprise management from the University of Sheffield and Annabel Hornsby, who is a modern languages graduate from the University of Bristol. The 2012 graduates have already made their mark at Gripple. Glenn Bills is now product manager at Gripple’s sister company, Loadhog; Jonathan Pankethman recently began a six month period as an industrial sales manager in Toronto; Susie Ramsden is benefitting from a three month placement at Gripple Inc in Chicago as a seismic marketing assistant; Chris Sampson, is now a supply chain co-ordinator, Frances Davis is a marketing co-ordinator and Michael Hodgson is a marketing and communications officer in UK industrial marketing, the latter three graduates based at Gripple in Sheffield. 

  • Welcome to new members Network ROI 

We are pleased to welcome ICT specialists Network ROI to the EOA network. The Roslin and Edinburgh based technology services firm provides a range of managed IT services, consultancy, communications services, connectivity solutions and cloud services to a wide range of private, public, charitable and third sectors organisations. An established Microsoft Competency Partner, the business and the team is growing. They recently took on two IT apprentices and are putting them through an in-depth training programme with the aim of them becoming IT level 1 Engineers at the end of the apprenticeship. From day one they will be working through a structured training programme that will not only develop their technical skills but also personal and business skills. The 12 month course will include a huge amount of technical training but it will also cover elements of sales and marketing, customer service, account management, accountancy, procurement and personal development topics such as behaviour characteristics and communication skills. You can read more about Network ROI here

  • Welcome to new members WCF 

We are delighted to welcome WCF into the EOA network. Originally established as a farmers co-operative just over one hundred years ago WCF now operate in the specialised retail and distribution sectors, with a diverse range of businesses including a variety of mail order brands, a small chain of stores selling products for the pet and equestrian sectors, a seed potato packing operation, chilled logistics and fuel oil distribution. They celebrate 25 years trading as a private limited company this year (2013). Many families of the original co-operative members remain shareholders alongside the company's employees, who have a considerable stake in the company. Overall the company has around 4,000 individual shareholders. The company strategy is to provide shareholders with steady and sustainable growth in dividends, by growing the earnings of each individual business through a combination of organic growth, capital investment and acquisition. You can read more about them here

  • Welcome to new members Green Light Pharmacy 

A new concept in healthcare run by the community pharmacy teams at each branch, the first Green Light Pharmacy opened in Euston in London in 1999. The company has been built on the three pillars of innovative service provision, employee ownership and community involvement. The company goal is to help people find new ways to manage their health holistically with the mantra Green Light Pharmacy…..ideas for your health. You can read more about them here.


W/B Monday 18 November 2013

  • Video Interview with Graeme Nuttall at Launch of One Year On Report

On 19th November we worked with the Business Department and the Corporation of London to launch a report charting progress against the recommendations outlined in the Nuttall Review. You can read more about the event here.

Co-Operative News attended and filmed an interview with author of the Nuttall Review and Partner at FFW LLP, Graeme Nuttall, on the day. You can watch it below:

  • Double Success in HSJ Awards for Care Plus Group

Well done to Grimsby based Care Plus Group on winning two Health Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards! Hope Specialist Service won the Primary Care and Community Service Redesign award and Intermediate Tier won the Improved Partnerships between Health and Local Government award. The winners of the 2013 HSJ Awards were announced on 19 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. The Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards are the largest celebration of healthcare excellence in the UK, highlighting the most innovative and successful people and projects in the sector. Created in 1981 to recognise, on a national platform, the projects and initiatives that deliver healthcare excellence and innovation, the awards shine a spotlight on cutting-edge innovations and best practice, the awards give impetus to improving the quality of health care in the UK. The judging panel, made up of senior and influential figures from the health sector, recognised Hope Specialist Service for their standout example of empowerment for staff and service users. Intermediate Tier were commended by the judges for being a: “Very, very impressive example of integrated services and model of intermediate care delivered by social enterprises in a seamless fashion.” You can find details of all of the winners here.

  • Expansion underway at Beakbane Ltd

Development is underway at one of the Kidderminster’s longest standing businesses, Beakbane Ltd, who are expanding their current premises by approximately 625sq.ft to meet the needs of a healthy order book from domestic and international customers. The company is one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of machinery protection systems, with over 50 years' experience of keeping equipment safe, productive and reliable in hostile environments.  This investment provides the company with an enlarged and updated factory unit, and takes advantage of a Local Development Order, which covers businesses in the South Kidderminster area, which simplifies the planning process and provides an incentive to businesses to locate or expand within the District by removing the need for planning permission. More information about Beakbane can be found on their website www.beakbane.co.uk, whilst further information about the Local Development Order can be found on Wyre Forest District Council’s website www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk.




EOA News November 2013

EOA News October 2013

EOA News September 2013

EOA News August 2013

EOA News July 2013

EOA News June 2013

EOA News May 2013

EOA News April 2013

EOA News March 2013

EOA News February 2013

EOA News January 2013

EOA News December 2012

EOA News November 2012

EOA News October 2012

EOA News September 2012

EOA News August 2012

EOA News July 2012

EOA News June 2012

EOA News May 2012