Employee Ownership Association marks 5th annual EO Day with the release of new industry data

With events taking place all over the country, the EOA has released new research showcasing the strength of the sector and the profound and positive impact of employee-owned businesses on the UK economy.

Employee Ownership Day (EO Day) takes place on June 30 and is celebrating its fifth Birthday with hundreds of events taking place across the country. To mark the occasion, The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) is also publishing a new suite of research illustrating the role of the sector as both an economic and social enabler.

EO Day is the national celebration of employee ownership and annually sees the sector raising awareness of the economic benefits and positive impact the business model has on the UK economy.

Research released from the White Rose Survey conducted by the Universities of Durham and Leeds have shown the growth of the sector which details a 60% increase from 2010-2017 now employing 200,000 employees across 300+ businesses with almost 70% those being in either Professional services or manufacturing.

While research from the Top 50 Employee Owned Businesses, compiled by RM2 Partnership, reveals combined sales of £22.7bn with a 10.1% median increase in operating profits. Productivity of these top fifty companies was recorded at a 6.2% increase year-on-year compared to the latest UK productivity growth of 3.4%.

Chief Executive of the EOA, Deb Oxley, said:

“Employee owned businesses are known for their higher levels of employee engagement as a result of enabling their employees to have a stake and a voice in their economic future. We welcome the new findings of this research that evidences their continued ability to thrive in a time when the world is experiencing unprecedented political and economic change.

“EO Day is an opportunity for employee owners across the UK to celebrate working for an employee-owned business, as well as raising awareness of the achievements of employee-owned businesses by sharing details of their activities online. We can’t believe we’re in our fifth year and can truly say the day is set to be the busiest yet.

“In light of this research and with the launch of the new national Inquiry, The Ownership Effect, the sector has never been more vocal in our assertion that employee ownership offers a route to better business in the UK. The Ownership Effect is building momentum and I am more convinced than ever that through the programme of hearings and the online consultation, our Panel will uncover far more about the important impact and effect of employee ownership in the UK.”

Employee ownership is delivering tangible results across all sectors of the economy, including professional services, manufacturing, health and social care, retail, and distribution, and its continued growth is helping to reshape and rebalance the UK economy. While the largest and most widely recognised employee owned business, the John Lewis Partnership, is a retailer, the largest single group of employee-owned firms can be found in the Professional, technical and scientific sectors. Other substantial areas of activity include manufacturing and firms.

As part of the five-year celebrations, the EOA is publishing five case studies that illustrate the diversity, resilience and growth of the sector. EOA members will be using the theme of five to build their own plan of activities. This year’s EO Day is sponsored by Cambridge Weight Plan, who are marking the day by opening a new building at their head office in Corby, where Deb Oxley is set to make her EO Day address.