77 results for year: 2021


‘How being on the EOA Membership Council builds our skills and improves the member offer’ | EMC showcase

The EOA Membership Council (EMC) is eager to “put itself out there more” to showcase the work it does to help the Employee Ownership Association “develop and deliver a compelling membership proposition”. In a bid to raise awareness of the work of the EMC, some of its representatives have shared their insights on how it seeks to “hold the EOA to account and represent its members”. Representatives from the EOA network are recruited to the council to represent member views and support the organisation develop its services. Oliver Smith, Head of Membership at the EOA and co-chair of the EMC, says primarily the role of council members ...

‘Seek invaluable advice from like-minded businesses before you transition to employee ownership’ | Horizon Platforms case study 

A platform hire company from West Yorkshire admits one of the most important lessons it has learnt from its transition to employee ownership is to take advice from other businesses that have been through the process. Horizon Platforms became employee-owned in February 2021 and found it “so helpful to get other perspectives” during the year-long process. The Normanton-based company says the “invaluable advice” it received from Employee Ownership Association (EOA) members helped it see the benefit of taking its employees “on that journey with us”. The ownership of the access rental business, which was formed in 2008 and has a fleet ...

EOA welcomes debate by MPs on contribution of co-ops and mutuals

The EOA welcomes today’s debate at Westminster Hall on co-operatives and mutuals, which included the impact businesses owned by its employees can have on the economy. Steve Baker, the Conservative MP for Wycombe, brought the debate – titled ‘The contribution of co-operatives and mutual societies to the economy and public life’ – on behalf of Co-operatives UK, which has tabled a brief and policy proposals to the Government. The parliamentary session heard contributions from MPs across all the main political parties, who championed examples of co-operatives and mutuals in action in their constituencies. The debate inspired the ...

‘Why I’m passionate about making sure the younger generation are moving the employee-ownership sector forward’ | Guest blog

Following his contribution as a speaker at the EOA Annual Conference 2021, Jake Hallatt – a 22-year-old graduate management trainee at employee-owned Gripple – has produced a guest blog on why he is so passionate about spreading the employee ownership (EO) message to younger people. Jake is an elected employee representative on the Glide council, which represents all the shareholder members who work in its partner companies like Gripple. A former apprentice of the year award winner, read Jake’s blog here: When I was elected to the Glide council, I was just 18 and our youngest elected employee representative – probably by a few years. ...

EOA announces new Chief Executive to lead growth and transformation plan

The EOA has recruited a new Chief Executive to lead the EOA through its ambitious transformation and growth plan. James de le Vingne, who has spent the past 5 years leading the Development Unit at Cooperatives UK, will join the EOA in February 2022. The search for a new CEO began back in August when current EOA Chief Executive Deb Oxley OBE announced that she would be stepping down from her role at the EOA after 9 years - 3 as Membership Director and 6 as CEO. James, whose work at Cooperatives UK includes establishing the Ownership Hub in partnership with the EOA, joins the as the association passes the 500 corporate membership milestone, ...

Essential Recruitment moves to Employee Ownership

The EOA welcomes Essential Recruitment's move to employeeownership. HR Essentials Ltd T/A Essential Recruitment, based in Chesterfield, has sold 100% of its shares to HR Essentials Trust making the business wholly owned by its 50 employees. The business, which has offices in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, saw Owner-Directors of the recruitment business; Marc Orli, Kristyan Rachael, Lisa Smith, Alison Wilby, Gary Wilson and Carl Wootton sell their shares for an undisclosed sum. With the exception of Gary Wilson, who will step down from his role as Chairman, the Directors will remain with the business and work with the Employee Trust to ...

EOA congratulates Graeme Nuttall OBE as international award recognises him as employee ownership champion

The Employee Ownership Association congratulates Graeme Nuttall OBE on being recognised for his work championing employee ownership in the UK and internationally. Graeme, partner at law firm Fieldfisher and head of its Employee Ownership Solutions practice, was the recipient of the 31st ‘Txemi Cantera’ International Social Economy Award, handed out by the ASLE – which is the business association of employee-owned and investee companies in the Basque Country. The employee ownership trust (EOT) was introduced in the UK as a result of the 2012 Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership, produced by Graeme for the UK government as an independent ...

Industry experts offer top tips for employee-owned businesses accessing finance for the first time | EOA Conference

Employee-owned businesses thinking about funding for the first time have been offered top tips for what they should and shouldn’t do when accessing finance. Speaking at the EOA Annual Conference 2021, three industry experts provided their insights into the role banks and investors can play in unlocking the potential that employee ownership can bring in terms of benefits to businesses, employees and customers, both in financing the transition and investing in future growth. The trio showcased the “many different options available for accessing finance – all with their own advantages and disadvantages”, and spoke about what lenders and ...

Postlethwaite – 5 Tips to a Successful Employee Ownership Transition – Guest Blog

You’ve done the research and are convinced of the multiple benefits of transitioning to Employee Ownership (EO) and how it can have a positive impact on your business, your employees, their productivity and also your legacy. You realise the employee ownership option provides the best exit strategy for you and your business, so what happens next? To assist and ensure your business’s transition to employee ownership is as smooth and as successful for the long term as possible, there are some key considerations you should take the time to think about and address. 1. The foundations There are several factors that any company becoming ...

Why employee-owned Wave Refrigeration is putting ‘Generation Z’ at the forefront of its sustainable development goals

Wave Refrigeration’s vision for future success is built around the belief that its next generation programme and sustainable development goals initiative “will ensure that the business continues to grow and thrive”. It is an approach that helped the West Yorkshire firm become the first refrigeration engineering consultancy to achieve Investors in People (IIP) accreditation in 2019. The employee-owned business, which is also an Investors in People Awards 2021 finalist, was founded by James Bailey in 2015 and as well as its main base in Keighley, it has a regional office in Trivandrum, India. It joined delegates at the EOA Annual Confer...

Why HLM Architects is ripping up the rule book when it comes to reward strategies and ways of working | Guest blog

Employee-owned company HLM Architects, which was listed as third best architectural practice in the UK and in the top 100 best companies to work for in the Sunday Times, has studios in London, Sheffield, Glasgow, Belfast and Cardiff and a workforce of 190. Managing Director Karen Mosley – who joined the company as an apprentice at 17 more than 33 years ago – details how and why it is ripping up the rule book when it comes to reward strategies. We know that a feeling of belonging and sense of reward can be achieved or indeed eroded in so many ways. At its most basic, reward has been about pay structures and progression and for many years we have ...

Seven takeaways from Day Three of the EOA Annual Conference 2021

The third and final day of the EOA Annual Conference 2021 showcased employee ownership from a variety of different voices all at different points of their EO journey. The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) leads the campaign for growing employee ownership in the UK – with government, the media and across the wider business community. The purpose of the EOA is to unlock the potential of people, businesses and communities, which was reflected in the conference video content, written case studies and support materials that were created to deliver the event. This will provide new evidence to help us in our task of growing the size and impact of ...

EOA Annual Conference 2021 hears of Japan’s ambition to create employee-ownership ‘movement’

The Japan Employee Ownership Association (JEOA) is eager to learn from the “front-runners of employee ownership in the UK” in embedding the model in its country. Art Hosokawa, chairman of the Japan EOA, who is helping pioneer employee ownership in the Far East nation, attended the EOA Annual Conference 2021 to take on board lessons from attending sessions and networking with delegates during the three-day virtual event. Art revealed at the conference that he has helped around 20 companies to become employee-owned since establishing the Japan EOA around five years ago – with the initial aim being to get 50 businesses to transition. The ...

Why Purcell’s pathway to employee ownership ‘took some considerable time in comparison to others’

As one of the world’s leading architectural heritage conservation experts, Purcell took seven years from initially finding out about employee ownership to becoming an EO business in May 2021 – a structural change for the company “the likes of which it has never seen before” in its 74-year history. “Purcell’s pathway to EO took some considerable time in comparison to others and of paramount importance was our desire for the transition to succeed. We firmly believe the length of time and effort taken to realign our culture will pay off in the longer term as we now have a team of happy employees who have bags of energy and high morale, ...

Seven takeaways from Day Two of the EOA Annual Conference 2021

The theme of “happy people, happy workforce” was championed as Day Two of the EOA Annual Conference 2021 continued the theme built up on day one. This theme was abundant in the EO Stories Celebration as 6 winners were announced at the event, kicking off the second day of the conference. To read up on the winners click here >> Here are seven takeaways from Day Two of the event on Wednesday 17th November: 1. Our survey said: ‘It’s not mandatory to be miserable at work’ Employee-owned Clarasys was on hand to share its employee engagement strategies that have helped it achieve the accolade of being named in the top five best ...

EO Stories competition winners announced at EOA Annual Conference 2021

The EO Stories competition has crowned six winners at the EOA Annual Conference 2021, where the more than 500 delegates has heard from companies such as Go Ape on their transition to an employee ownership model. EO Stories, delivered in partnership with Baxendale, is a celebration of the exceptional stories of employee-owned (EO) businesses and the challenges they have faced over the last year. Thousands of votes were cast by the EO community for their favourites this summer as part of the Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) EO Stories competition, which received 35 insightful and inspiring stories across four categories. There were also ...

Seven takeaways from Day One of the EOA Annual Conference 2021

More than 500 delegates were on hand as Day One of the EOA Annual Conference 2021 offered them the opportunity to learn more about ‘unlocking the potential’ of employee ownership. The virtual three-day event put on sessions on exploring succession, ‘Good Employee Ownership’, and delivering ‘Better Business’. The EOA is providing seven hours of learning to choose from across these three topics, as well as the chance to network on virtual round tables. EOA Chief Executive Deb Oxley OBE launched the conference with a keynote speech, which you can read by clicking here >> Here are seven takeaways from day one of the event on ...

What swung it for Go Ape to realise employee ownership was the right path to safeguard its ‘very unique’ culture?

What started out as a drawing and a vision of a future involving “trees, tepees, tree houses and bonfires” has evolved into an adventure company welcoming more than a million visitors a year – and one that is now employee-owned after Go Ape’s founders handed over control to their 1,000-strong workforce. During the almost 20 years that Go Ape has been in existence its founders, husband and wife team Rebecca and Tristram Mayhew, have always wondered ‘where do we see this going?’ Safeguarding the “very unique” culture and values of the treetop adventure company – which offers activities such as zip wires, tree-to-tree crossings ...

Why it’s critical the EOA and its members remain constant and authentic champions of ‘Good Employee Ownership’

Deb Oxley OBE, Chief Executive at the Employee Ownership Association, gave a keynote speech to open up day one of the EOA Annual Conference 2021. Here is what she had to say: Believing that business and society are better when people have a meaningful stake and a say in their work, the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has a clear mission to unlock the potential of people, businesses and the economy through employee ownership. And arguably the opportunity for employee ownership (EO) has never been greater as businesses seek to be more sustainable, equitable and resilient, nor the EOA’s voice stronger – because of our members’ support, ...

EOA Conference Headline Sponsor – J Gadd Associates Guest Blog

Guest Blog by Jeremy Gadd, J Gadd Associates Where has the last year gone to? How can we be on the eve of the 2021 EOA conference already? We are delighted to be Headline co-sponsors for the third year running, along with Postlethwaite, supporting the first fully digital EOA conference. We know the EOA team have been working hard alongside First Event to bring together more opportunities to experience case studies, discussions and share best practice, in addition to formal and informal networking. Some of the benefits of attending any conference, are the opportunities to meet new people, catch up with old friends and share experiences. And ...

Demonstrating how larger companies can consider Employee Ownership as part of their future. – RVE

Guest Blog by Tom Lethaby, RVE Corporate Finance   TTP Group Ltd (“TTP”) – the largest company to convert to an Employee Ownership Trust (“EOT”) structure demonstrates how larger companies can consider Employee Ownership as part of their future. Statistics compiled for the Employee Ownership Association (“EOA”) show that, since the changes introduced in the 2014 Budget made it easier to convert a business to employee ownership through use of a John Lewis style trust structure, over 600 UK companies have chosen this path. This includes well-known companies such as Aardman Animations, Riverford Organics, Richer Sounds and ...

Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs): Key considerations – Moore Kingston Smith

Guest Blog by Harpreet Gill, Moore Kingston Smith   Moore Kingston Smith is a leading UK firm of accountants, lawyers and business advisers. With over 60 partners and more than 500 staff based in and around London, we are a leading member of the international accounting and consulting network, Moore Global. As well as providing accountancy, tax, legal and corporate finance services, one of the areas we specialise in includes Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs). EOTs continue to grow in popularity as a way of engaging with employees while providing an alternative exit strategy for business owners who do not want to pursue a third-party ...

We predicted that employee-owned resilience would be an advantage in the face of a global pandemic. But were we right?

Guest blog by Simon Everingham, Baxendale Employee Ownership   According to two recently published surveys by Ranstad UK1 and Autonomy2, almost a quarter of UK workers are planning on leaving their current employment in the next few months. Some are calling this ‘The Great Resignation’, and fear a mass exodus may be on the cards if companies do not act to improve their offer to employees soon. While the reasons for workers to move jobs are diverse (on average it’s expected that 11% of workers will move jobs every year1), in some sectors such as care, transport and logistics, and hospitality, the figure of workers expecting to leave ...

GO APE founders hand over control of adventure company to staff

The founders of  EOA member Go Ape are handing control of the adventure group to staff, in a move that will give all employees an equal stake in the ownership and success of the business. Founders Rebecca and Tristram Mayhew announced 90% of Go Ape shares will be transferred into a John Lewis-style trust, for the benefit of all current and future employees. They will tell their story at the EOA Conference on November 16 to kick-off the event which offers 40 networking and learning sessions live on the afternoons of the 16-18 November, as well as being available on demand for 60 days after the conference. Since founding Go Ape in 2002, the ...

EOA Conference content programme launches

The three key learning strands are employee ownership as a succession plan, building good employee ownership and delivering better business. Here are our five picks for this week, which have a better business focus: Tuesday 16th November: Hear from CEO of UMi Nicki Clark’s story on how they achieved the maximum of three-star accreditation for workplace engagement and how they are now working towards BCORP status. Tuesday 16th November: Karen Mosley, Managing Director of HLM Architects, shares her thoughts as part of a discussion on how reward strategies and ways of working can be adapted post-Covid 19. Wednesday 17th November: Matt ...

EOA growth plan drives team expansion

The UK’s employee-owned economy is growing at pace as an increasing number of business owners consider and then convert to employee ownership. With a 30% increase in the number of employee ownership transitions in 2020 and an ambitious growth strategy and transformation plan, the EOA is looking to expand its team. The EOA passed the 500 corporate member milestone in the first half of 2021. Its plans to evolve its offer to its growing community of businesses, will continue to support businesses through their employee ownership transition as well as supporting them to develop good employee ownership that drives better business impacts. With a ...

EOA urges EO community to contribute to e-book in honour of Nigel Mason

The EOA is encouraging those who knew one of the EO sector’s leading lights, Nigel Mason, to share their condolences, stories and memories that celebrate his life, with his loved ones through an e-book.   Nigel, who sadly passed last week, was a close friend of the EOA, having worked on behalf of and for the EOA /Job Ownership, latterly as Policy Director.   More recently, Nigel had worked in partnership with the EOA to publish the annual UK Top 50 and the EOT Survey – two key publications which have directly supported the EOA’s ability to promote and raise awareness of EO.  As an owner of RM2, he also led the firm’s engagement ...

EOA condolences on the passing of Nigel Mason

The EOA is saddened to hear of the passing of Nigel Mason and sends its heartfelt condolences to his family and all those who worked with him at RM2. Nigel, a friend, colleague and adviser to many in the EOA network and wider EO community, has had a long association with the EOA, from being its Policy Director to working closely with the EOA on research, and as noted by RM2 was a leading light in the sector being instrumental in the growth of employee ownership. He will be missed by the EOA team, all of whom appreciated his advice, support and innovative ideas.

Member News | LDA Design becomes employee-owned business

Independent design, environment and planning consultancy LDA Design has become a 100% employee-owned business. LDA Design has set up an Employee Ownership Trust to acquire all the shares of the nine owners, which provides a route to succession that builds on everything they have done over the last 42 years, and assures the long-term independence of the business. LDA Design has been working towards this move for a number of years, confident that a business in which all employees have a stake will enjoy greater success. The time has been used to develop new more democratic structures, shaped by the team, and ensure that its 170 people understand ...

Member News | Hawkins\Brown moves to Employee Ownership

Hawkins\Brown has transitioned to an Employee Ownership model, having established an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) which has purchased the business of Hawkins\Brown from current partners and will operate it for the long-term benefit of all its employees. Over 33 years, Hawkins\Brown grew from two founder employees to an international practice with offices in the UK and US, with a staff of over 260 led by 21 Partners who jointly owned the business through an LLP. The decision to transition to Employee Ownership has been taken to provide the best option for the sustainable future growth of the practice. A new practice governance structure is now in ...

EOA partners up to launch new course to support businesses to develop good EO

The EOA is launching a new course aimed at leaders and managers in an employee owned business to helps businesses develop good employee ownership and unlock the potential of people and their business. Telos and J Gadd Associates, in partnership with the EOA, have developed a programme to equip leaders and managers with the right tools and mindset to drive success in an employee-owned business. The Ownership Dividend report 2018 evidenced that when then the interests of leaders and employee owners are aligned it unites them behind a common purpose allowing them to innovate, flex and demonstrate resilience. From this good leadership was indentif...

Member News | CDS to host Employee Ownership Explained Webinars 2021

Following last year’s successful ‘Employee Ownership Explained’ webinar series, Co-operative Development Scotland, part of Scottish Enterprise, will be hosting a further 3 webinars on employee ownership that will go beyond the facts and figures.  These 3 webinars will focus on the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT); using the legislation to achieve the best outcomes, financial planning for an EOT transaction and the role of the bank in an EOT transaction. Aimed at professional advisers these expert webinars will explore different aspects to help advisers broaden their knowledge and equip them to support their clients in making informed decisio...

Levelling up our economic recovery: the regional opportunity for employee ownership

The ambition to ‘Level Up’ the economy is a familiar phrase but it’s not necessarily clear how this ambition will be realised, what it means to families, businesses and the regions in which they are based or how its impact will be measured.  However, what is clear is that imbalances in economic activity across the country, with wealth and prosperity in some areas driven by investment whilst other areas struggle to shake off their post-industrial decline must be addressed if there is to be a level, UK-wide, post-Covid economic recovery. In addition, the UK’s overly centralised structure of Government and governance, with a resulting lack of ...

Case Study – Experiences of an Independent Trustee

We spoke to Helen Moreton, Founder and Director of Boombox Consulting, to ask her about her experiences as an Independent Trustee for employee owned businesses.   What would you say are the top three things you gain from being an independent trustee? There are many things that I could say in answer to this question, but primarily I would say it is the kind of organisations and people that I get to work with. By the very nature of being an independent trustee you are working with people that are willing to consider a better and fairer way of doing business. I feel truly fortunate to work with organisations that have a compelling purpose and a ...

EOA seeks new CEO to lead new era of growth

The CEO of the EOA Deb Oxley OBE has announced that she will step down from the EOA once she has supported the recruitment and induction of a new CEO – expected to be late 2021 early 2022. Deb has announced she will be leaving the EOA at the end of 2021 after 9 years - 3 as Membership Director and 6 as CEO.  The move to pass on the baton of CEO comes as the EOA welcomes its 500th member and progresses with a transformation programme and strategy to ensure its future sustainability and continued growth and influence. Supported by the EOA team, Deb is playing an active role in the process to identify her successor, which is being led ...

Guest Blog | The Eternal Business Consultancy – Avoiding The Shop Steward

One of the key functions of trustees in an employee owned business is to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries for the employees. They need to hear the employee voice, and so inspire the team to step up and think like business owners. Crucially, the trustees need to hear the voice of employees on ownership issues – not to act as a shop steward for employees interests. There are lots of positive steps to take to instil the feeling among employees that they are being heard. But there are also a few pitfalls to avoid. For example, the trustee body which is seen to be acting only in the interests of the former owner is likely to ...

Guest Blog | J Gadd Associates – 5 Ways Governance and EO Go Hand in Hand

Governance was once a topic that could empty a room in seconds, but things are a little different these days. Attitudes are changing, and fast. Top line, governance is about the way an organisation is managed, at the highest level. It is also about the systems and practices in place for doing this. It is focused on direction, control and accountability. In practical terms, governance is about having the right things in place to preserve and strengthen stakeholder and shareholder confidence. Governance is about making sure the basis for a high performing organisation is in place. Governance plays a vital role in ensuring that any organisation is ...

Howden Group Holdings joins the Employee Ownership Association as Trustee member

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) today welcomes Howden Group Holdings (Howden) as a Trustee member.  Howden is ranked number six in the Employee Ownership Top 50 2021, which lists the UK’s largest employee-owned businesses by number of employees.  Howden joins other Trustee members of the EOA, including the John Lewis Partnership, Arup and Mott MacDonald. Howden recently acquired A-Plan Group, which increased its number of employees to 8,500 globally, meaning it could be ranked number five on the list in 2022. When the international insurance group was established in 1994, its vision was to remain independent by delivering sustaina...

Kingsland Drinks Group Makes Move Towards Being Employee Owned

Leading independent drinks firm Kingsland Drinks Group, including Kingsland Drinks, and newly established Ten Locks, has made a move to being partially employee owned. Current director shareholders, Andy Sagar, Karen Wilson, Michael Forde, and Mark Dixon have successfully managed the business for 17 years, investing significantly in capability and capacity and diversifying the business into new markets. After a period of careful consideration and planning, the owners have agreed that the time is now right to restructure the ownership model whilst recognising any changes in the stewardship of the business will need support and take time to ...

Member News | DJS Research announces move to employee ownership on 20th anniversary

North of England market research agency, DJS Research, has become an employee-owned company following two decades as a highly successful family-owned business. The company, which has offices in Stockport and Leeds as well as a growing network of permanent remote-working staff, is now one of 500+ employee-owned trust (EOT) businesses in the UK, and one of just three employee-owned market research companies nationwide. Taking the business forward in this way will ensure DJS Research remains independent for many years to come and stays firmly in the hands of the employees who have driven its success and who champion its values and vision for the ...

Member News | Merlin celebrates being Employee Owned for 5 years

Merlin Energy Resources Ltd. (MERL) was originally formed by 6 former colleagues of Clyde Petroleum on 1st May 1998, as a subsurface geoscience and data management consultancy. Initially the shares were owned by the founder members supported by a third party company. Over subsequent years, as employee numbers grew, the third party was bought out and individual shareholders changed. As many of the principal shareholders started reaching retirement age, it was decided that a new model of ownership should be investigated to allow the company to continue for the benefit of all staff.  Merlin became 100% employee owned on 1st July 2016, with the process ...

Member News | Childbase Partnership goes ‘Climate Positive’

Childbase Partnership is now ‘Climate Positive’ after saving more greenhouse gas emissions than are generated by its 44 day nurseries and Head Office while recording a year on year reduction in its total carbon footprint. Investing in two United Nations-certified carbon reduction projects, the award-winning employee-owned company - which uniquely targets ‘Scope 3’ emissions generated by staff and customers in accessing its settings - has also launched the Childbase Partnership Sustainable Travel Challenge to tackle this, the largest remaining contributor to its total carbon footprint. Emma Rooney, Childbase Partnership Managing Director, ...

Last call for Owner/Founders looking to fast-track their EO transition plan

Stir to Action and J Gadd Associates – the creators of a new employee ownership accelerator course – are making their last call to Owner/Founders keen to find fast-track support. The EO Accelerator, the UK’s first, is Sponsored by TLT and Triodos Bank UK. The EO Accelerator launches at Stir to Action’s New Economy Centre at Selgars Mill in Devon, and runs from 17 to 19 September 2021. The three-day course will support Owner/Founders to explore the full range of employee ownership models available, and gain expert insight into the legal, financial and tax implications of their chosen path. The course comes at a time when the pandemic ...

Five reasons why employee ownership can re-energise and unify your workforce post-Covid – Trace Solutions

Neil Stewart, Sales Director, Trace Solutions   In a year that has witnessed huge change for organisations, employee ownership – offering employees a stake in the business - has come to the fore as a way to re energise and unify the workforce. The Employee Ownership Association reports year on year growth in EO companies in the UK, with over 450, contributing in excess of £30 billion to UK GDP in 2020. It offers a compelling option for improving staff retention, putting employees at the heart of the organisation whilst delivering a persuasive point of difference to customers. Trace Solutions has been employee owned since 2007 – it ...

EO Day back in full swing as sector grows by 30%

The employee-owned sector has experienced unprecedented growth and displays resilience and social responsibility as it prepares to celebrate Employee Ownership Day (EO Day) 2021. Thousands of employee owners will celebrate EO Day on Friday on June 25, with virtual or socially distanced get togethers. This year EO Day is sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, a socially determined, ethical business bank. A key highlight of the day will see more than 30 EO businesses telling their stories, sharing good governance and communications, and supporting health and wellbeing as part of the EO Stories competition (sponsored by Baxendale). Despite the unpreceden...

EO Day Guest Blog | Gaining authority by giving it away – UMi’s approach to employee ownership

From creating a culture of togetherness to simply doing the right thing, employee ownership has helped UMi become a better business for both its customers and its staff. Here, Simon Allen, Chair of UMi’s Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) explains how the company became employee-owned back in 2011 and why #BetterTogether is a fitting philosophy for its 130+ strong team. Now in its 10th year of employee ownership, UMi has come a long way since becoming an organisation run by and for its people. That was the motivation for the Board of Directors back in 2011 – to develop a culture of shared responsibility and give its team a real stake in the ...

Worker co-ops and employee ownership to play key role in economic recovery, says Mayor Dan Jarvis

Sheffield City Region is the first region to partner with the Ownership Hub to grow resilient and inclusive businesses through employee and worker ownership. As Covid restrictions ease across England, focus moves to the economic recovery of businesses hit hard by the pandemic. Today (22 June 2021) a new national initiative aiming to support businesses, advisers and regions to grow employee and worker ownership is launched. Sheffield City Region is the first region to commit to growing the number of worker and employee owners in this way. Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity. Not just because ...

Member News | ADT Workplace becomes a 100% Employee Owned business

Commercial interior design, build and delivery specialist, ADT Workplace has today announced that it has placed 100% of the business into employee ownership, heralding the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of the company. Started in 2005 by David Clemetson, Tommy Cocking and Ashley Smith, ADT Workplace has grown to be one of the leading independent commercial interiors organisations in the North West, employing over 60 people at its Manchester HQ. Having grown turnover this year to £45m, the founders have decided now is the right time to change the ownership structure of the business. They have transferred 100% of the 16-year-old ...

Member News | Teamwork makes the dream work: Salad’s shift to employee ownership

Brand and communication agency, Salad Creative has announced transfer of ownership to its team in an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Only 600 companies in the UK have adopted the HMRC approved scheme and Dorset based Salad, is the first creative agency in the region to make the shift. The process transfers Salad’s private shareholding to a collective ownership across its workforce. Producing brand, marketing and digital work for clients including Commonwealth Games Team England, House of Garrard, Mitchell & Butlers Plc and Grape Tree Health Foods, Salad celebrates its 20th anniversary this summer. Managing Director, Arabella Lewis-Smith ...

EOA calls for evidence ahead of #EODay

We're calling on employee owned businesses to take just a few minutes to complete the following surveys in order to help us build a better picture of the performance of the EO sector in the face of COVID-19, informing and supporting the EOA’s future campaigning and lobbying activities. We’ll be sharing the results of these surveys on the 25th of June as part of our EO Day celebrations.   EO Health & Wellbeing Surveys Mental health and wellbeing in the workplace has never been more important as we’ve all faced the Covid-19 crisis. We know that employee owned businesses put people first and we want to understand how important ...

Better Business Webinar Roundup: “Demystifying ESG: What is it and why is it good for business?”

The EOA kicked off its Better Business webinar series with a fascinating discussion about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and why this matters for the businesses’ long term success. We heard from Andrew Ninian, of The Investment Association, Barry Murphy, from PwC and Kevin Matthews, CEO of Scott Bader. The webinar provided five key take-aways for businesses when considering ESG: Purpose. it’s about defining what the business wants to achieve and what good it wants to contribute to society. Kevin Matthews described how as a chemical company with a significant environmental impact in the supply chain, the company set a long term ...

Guest Blog – Why Unity Trust Bank is proud to sponsor EO Day and how we can support businesses that want to become employee-owned

Unity Trust Bank is a proud trustee member of the Employee Ownership Association and we are delighted to sponsor this year’s EO Day on June 25th. As a bank with a social conscience and a rich heritage, we share the EOA’s commitment in supporting business models that bring true societal benefits. We were established in 1984 to serve the common good, and this year’s theme for EO Day, #bettertogether, has never resonated more as we emerge into a post-pandemic world. Mark Clayton, Chief Operating Officer at Unity Trust Bank, said: “It’s clear that there is a close alignment between what employee-owned businesses stand for and what we ...

Guest Blog – Should Former Owners Be EOT Trustees?

It is common, especially in the early years of the company being employee owned, for the previous owners to want to be one of the trustees. The former owners almost always have the best interest of the company at heart. It’s not easy letting go of control, especially when you are being paid out of the future profit of the business. However, giving up a little bit of control is like being a little bit pregnant. It’s kind of an all or nothing situation. A former owner who keeps a position of influence is inadvertently sending a message to the employees that is in danger of undermining the concept of employee ownership. It can only dampen ...

UMi Shines Bright At Best Companies 2021

The employee-owned company has shone brightly in this year’s Best Companies Listings – with a trio of accolades that recognise both its regional and national strengths. UMi is celebrating after it secured the highest star rating and was named in three prestigious Best Companies 2021 listings announced at a special event on Friday, 21 May. In the list representing the UK’s 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies, which is for those that employ between 75 and 199 people, UMi ranked 33rd. The business also achieved a 12th place regional listing and was named 8th in its sector. UMi ­- which makes it easier for businesses to do more and go further ...

Childbase Partnership celebrates ‘Best UK workplace’ Awards

Childbase Partnership Founder and Chairman Mike Thompson retains his title as the country’s best company leader and the employee-owned business is No.2 in the prestigious competition to find the best UK workplaces. Cheering in 44 Childbase Partnership day nurseries in the south of England greeted the announcement in the Best Companies virtual awards ceremony which was relayed to staff who staged tea parties for children in celebration. Mike Thompson, who was rated Best Leader last year and realized his dream of full employee ownership at Childbase Partnership in 2017, paid tribute to his 2,000-plus colleagues whose confidential survey results ...

Haremi Ltd becomes an employee-owned business

Haremi Ltd, the Cheltenham-based educational publishing services provider, announces that it has become an employee-owned business. Founded by Paul Farnworth in 2006, Haremi has grown to become one of the UK’s leading educational content creation services, working across the educational publishing, awarding body and professional membership sectors. Daniel Scales becomes CEO, taking over from Paul, who is retiring from the business to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. Daniel will manage Haremi along with the existing senior leadership team. Haremi’s 42 employees are now indirect owners of the business, through a ...

EO Stories: Baxendale – Our EO Story

The Baxi Partnership was founded by Philip Baxendale, and his values and his vision reflect the business we are today. The business was founded in 1866 by Richard Baxendale as a family manufacturing and engineering business. The company made everything from street lights to railway trucks and ultimately became Europe’s leading manufacturer of heating boilers with the iconic Baxi Boiler. The company was transferred into employee ownership by the Baxendale and Castleton families in 1983 with the creation of the Baxi Partnership Trust. The creation of the trust was the culmination of years of research by Philip and reflected the distillation of his ...

Member News | Purcell Architects Become Employee Owned

In May 2021, Purcell became an employee-owned business run through an employee-ownership trust. With studios across the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Australia, the decision to become employee-owned recognises the practice’s evolution and is a commitment to the next phase in our business’s development and to our multidisciplinary team who have been instrumental to our growth and success. The new employee ownership model will build upon the successes of our past, strengthening the practice and ensuring all our people can contribute to its future. This will invigorate our continued performance and collaborative ways of working, providing a ...

New partnership launches EO accelerator for exiting founders

Stir to Action, J Gadd Associates, TLT, and Triodos Bank UK, together with support from the Employee Ownership Association, today launched a partnership to deliver an Employee Ownership Accelerator in September 2021 for those in the early stages of business succession planning. The five values-driven organisations have formed a new partnership to support business owners who are interested in sharing ownership and success with their employees. Stir to Action, J Gadd Associates, TLT and Triodos Bank UK, have also launched a programme of content and events to champion employee ownership. The employee-ownership sector has seen a growth of 50% since ...

EO Business 3P Innovation Receives a Queen’s Award For International Trade Amidst a Global Pandemic

Announced today, 29th April, Midlands-based manufacturer, 3P innovation has received its second Queen’s Award for Enterprise. This latest award is in recognition for British excellence in International Trade, and follows on from their first Queen’s Award for Innovation last year. Internationally recognised, these are the UK’s most prestigious business awards, which date back to 1966. High-tech engineering company, 3P innovation, works collaboratively with global pharma and medical device businesses to help develop their new products, devices and production processes. This exporting manufacturer is one of a very limited number of companies ...

Member News | Better Placed moves to employee ownership

Digital, marketing, tech and sales recruiter Better Placed has completed its transition to become 100% employee owned. The Better Placed Group, which is headquartered in Leeds, has offices in Manchester and London and includes the executive search practice bpesearch. Founded in 2002, its clients include the Co-op, PZ Cussons, Greene King, Costa Coffee and First Direct. Each of its 40 employees will take a share in the business through an employee ownership trust. Founding Directors Simon Stephens, Andrew Gibson and Dean Bartle and the rest of the board will continue to run the business. The company said employee ownership is a move that ...

Member News | BDB Transitions To 100% Employee-Owned Business

Altrincham-based B2B consultancy, BDB (Barrett Dixon Bell Limited) has established an employee ownership trust, transferring with immediate effect to 100% employee ownership. BDB is one of the first 500 employee-owned companies in the UK, giving its 50-strong team the opportunity to directly benefit from the continued growth of the business. The decision to transition to an employee-owned business was driven by the desire to sustain the company’s independence and protect its culture and values, alongside aiding long-term succession planning. Its previous Board of Directors remains unchanged and is made up of Matt Smith (CEO), Catherine Butcher ...

Member News | Creative Space Management Announces Move To Employee Ownership

Leeds-based property management and urban regeneration business, Creative Space Management, has made the progressive move to an employee ownership model, securing the future of this £1.7m turnover business for its teams operating across the North of England. Established in 2006, shares in Creative Space Management Ltd had previously been owned by three prominent, northern businesspeople: Chris Brown, Toby Hyam and Paul Taylor. The move to employee ownership effectively transfers all business interests to a Trust, which will manage the shares and bonuses on behalf of the firm’s 25 staff members. By transferring the shares to an Employee Owned ...

Member News | Aldridge Trimming transfers ownership to employees.

Wolverhampton based Aldridge Trimming Ltd has become the latest company to join the rapidly growing number of companies across the UK owned by its employees. Founded in the 1930’s, Aldridge Trimming originally provided general trimming services for cars of the 1920’s and 1930’s era. Simon Aldridge took over the business in 1980 and since that time the business has developed a worldwide reputation for supplying quality British made interior trim and bespoke trimming refurbishments for classic car enthusiasts in the UK, Europe and worldwide. The company’s 37 employees now own 100% of the company via an Employee Ownership Trust. Simon’s ...

#EODay countdown to share why business is better together

The EOA is asking members and supporters to share why business is #bettertogether for EO Day 2021. Today marks the 100 day countdown to EO Day 2021, which takes place on June 25. The EOA is asking its members and supporters to mark the annual celebration by making some noise about how individuals, business or economies are better together because of employee ownership. The annual campaign celebrates Employee Ownership and Employee Owned businesses in the UK, raising awareness of the benefits of employee ownership as a business model as well as the social and economic benefits it brings to employee owners. Each EO Day thousands of employee ...

Deb Oxley – EOA Statement on the 2021 UK Budget

"There was a lot to welcome in this important Budget in terms of continuation of pandemic financial support, a programme for economic recovery and investing for the future.  However, we do recognise that for some members, the planned changes to corporation tax will be a concern. "While we heard that there was a freeze on an individual's annual exempt amount for Capital Gains Tax, we still wait to hear the detail of other possible changes and initiatives around the UK tax regime later this month. "We hope March 23rd will herald an end to the uncertainty about a possible rise in CGT following the recent review carried out by the Office of Tax ...

Member News – Denny Bros Group announce plans to become employee owned

Denny Bros Group has announced exciting plans to become employee owned. The group has restructured its ownership so that a majority is now held in trust for the benefit of the employees. A new company, Denny Bros Trustee Ltd, has been formed to administer the trust while Barry and Graham Denny retain a minority shareholding. The previously family-owned group, which has its headquarters based in Bury St Edmunds, reached its 75th anniversary of trading last year and has made this move to safeguard its independent future. Denny Bros Ltd Managing Director, Graham Denny, said: “In the last few years, we have come to the realisation that we ...

Guest Blog – Jenny Herrera: Good Business a no-brainer for Employee-Owned Businesses

I had the privilege of being on a panel alongside Neil Wright of TensCare Ltd in EOA’s November 2020 three-day series of webinars called EO Boost.  We were talking about ‘good business’ as part of a three-part series looking at its benefits for individuals, business and society. I loved hearing his example of how effective employee representation at board level translated into the company branching out into a completely new product, for facial muscles, which is now their biggest selling item!  As our conversation continued ‘off webinar’, Neil learned about the Good Business Charter (GBC), and felt this would be an excellent accreditat...

Member News – Synergy Vision becomes an EO Company

Medical communications specialist Synergy Vision (SV) is now an employee-owned (EO) company, joining a growing movement that includes Aardman Animations, John Lewis, PwC and Riverford Organics. It is a definitive move that further empowers the team to drive long-term growth and deliver the difference for clients in an environment that boosts staff engagement, innovation and motivation and safeguards the intrinsic values of the company. Since inception, a people-focused ethos has been intrinsic to SV. This is most recently evidenced by trailblazing initiatives, such as the four-day working week, successful since 2018, and its Investors in People ...

Member News – Bluesmith Technology Group Moves to Employee Ownership

Data Analytics and Software Development specialist Bluesmith Technology Group has joined the ranks of a growing number of Employee Owned businesses in the region. The founders marked Bluesmith’s ten year anniversary by moving a majority 75% shareholding into an employee ownership trust (EOT), with all staff automatically benefitting from the future success of the business. The move has been welcomed by blue chip customers including Yorkshire Water, Co-op and Oliver Wyman. The EOT model of ownership is an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional trade sale or merger, and provides tax-free bonuses for staff as well as tax breaks ...

Member News – Utility contractor Falco transitions to employee ownership

Utilities contractor, Falco Construction Limited has announced it is now employee-owned. The London-based company, established in 2004 by Brendan Griffin, has transitioned its ownership structure to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Many of Falco’s twenty-seven full-time staff have been with the firm throughout its rapid development and the transition to employee ownership was the logical next step in its development says the company’s founder, Brendan Griffin: “The creation of an EOT enables us to preserve the legacy of the Falco brand and maintain its status as an established partner for utility providers well into the future,” he ...

EOA Launches EO Trustee Search to help EO businesses build good governance

The EOA has launched the EO Trustee Search to support EOA members to recruit Independent Trustees.  The new suite of services provides three distinct options for employee-owned businesses seeking to acquire the services of an Independent Trustee to help them deliver robust governance.   The EOA believes that employing an Independent Trustee, on the employee ownership trust,  provides objective insight and support to represent the interests of the business’ employee owners and deliver on the purpose of the business.  As well as the EOA’s self-service option, two EOA members have partnered with other organisations to offer two additi...

Big four firm PwC joins EOA after continued growth of the EOT model

PwC has joined the EOA after seeing the continued growth of businesses becoming employee owned via an employee ownership trust (EOT). As one of the big four professional services firms, the business sees the relevance of employee ownership after seeing the sector’s continued strong growth despite the pandemic. PwC has been involved in a number of EOT transactions including advising on tax, valuations, structuring, modelling, legal, debt advisory, employee communications and governance. The values of the sector are seen as a great fit with PWC’s purpose to “build trust in society and solve important problems”. More than 50% of the ...

EOA Member News – Gripple Crowned Manufacturer of the Year

The EOA congratulates the employee owners at EOA Member Gripple on having won big in the Make UK awards, taking home the title of "Manufacturer of the Year" recognising their success in what remains challenging and unprecedented times for UK Manufacturing. They also won the ‘Business Growth and Strategy’ and ‘Developing Future Talent’ awards, both demonstrating that putting people, innovation and world class manufacturing at the heart of the business drives their success. You can find out what Gripple have to say about winning these awards, as well as the videos they submitted here.

CEO Blog – Staying on course to Better Business

Whilst the entire world has been buffeted and blown around by the pandemic, there has never been a more important time for organisations to stay agile and to stay focused on their purpose. Of course, it has been essential to divert valuable resources to manage the national response to COVID19 here in the UK.  However, the implications of this approach on the longer-term challenges are profound, for example in the NHS, where waiting lists for non-COVID related illness are now at an all-time high and not expected to recover to pre-COVID levels for many years, putting at risk the NHS’ very purpose of being ‘free at the point of need’. In a ...

EOA Member News – Agulhas becomes an Employee-Owned Trust

At the start of 2021, Agulhas became an Employee-Owned Trust. They are now owned and run by those who know Agulhas and our values best – their people. Agulhas’ principles are central to everything they do as an organisation. After almost 20 years building a company based on these values, becoming an Employee-Owned Trust will ensure that Agulhas continues to grow and be nurtured by those who embody these values, ensuring a sustainable future for the company. As an Employee-Owned Trust, employees will be invested in Agulhas Applied Knowledge for as long as they work for the company. The Trust will be managed by a Board, who represent all ...

EOA Member News – Interface NRM Ltd announces Employee Ownership Transition

EOA members Interface NRM Ltd have officially announced their transition to an employee ownership trust model, with founders Dr Gavin Jordan and Mike Greenland parting with 80% of their shares as the company became officially employee owned on the 6th of January. Dr Gavin Jordan and Mike Greenland established Interface NRM Ltd in 2002, they set up the company in the West Midlands as an ethically driven business, with the aim to increase the sustainability of wood being used in the UK, and to improve the environmental, social, health and safety performance of forestry, construction, manufacturing, service and design companies.  Since then, the ...