EOA launches call for written evidence for The Ownership Effect Inquiry

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has launched the call for written evidence from businesses and individuals as part of the next stage of the Ownership Effect Inquiry – a national, business-led inquiry into the impact of employee ownership on businesses and the UK economy.

All contributions will be considered, along with the oral evidence being gathered in a series of hearings around the UK. This evidence will then be used to develop a final report, which will include valuable recommendations of how to further support the growth of employee ownership. The written evidence deadline is 21 July 2017 and can be filled out here.

Four hearings have taken place so far in London, Edinburgh and Manchester, with expert insights from groups representing SMEs, family businesses, businesses directors and regional economies demonstrating the economic opportunity of employee ownership. The next regional hearings will take place in Wales and Birmingham, with a final London hearing taking place in-between.

The independent business-led Inquiry – led by the EOA, in partnership with the eaga Trust and the UK’s largest employee-owned business the John Lewis Partnership – is supported by Cass and Manchester Business Schools and is chaired by Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted.

Chief executive of the EOA, Deb Oxley, said:

“As each stage of the Inquiry progresses, we continue to uncover more evidence on the potential of employee ownership to answer some of the UK’s burning challenges; the even distribution of wealth, closing the productivity gap, and growing the nation’s SMEs and independently-owned business community.

“In order to create a solid body of evidence about under what circumstances employee ownership is found and what benefits it delivers, we need to capture the insights, stories and accounts of employee ownership from the existing employee owned businesses and employee owners of all sizes and in all sectors.

“These findings will be published in the autumn in a comprehensive final report; outlining in full, the potential of employee ownership and its contribution to UK productivity growth and corporate behaviour.”

Alongside the Ownership Effect Inquiry, recent evidence released by the EOA on the Top 50 employee owned businesses revealed 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%.

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