Why we’re sharing our policy priorities for the EO sector | CEO Blog

EOA Conference 2023

Blog by James de le Vingne, CEO, Employee Ownership Association

In recent years, the EO sector has grown rapidly and is now made up of over 1,400 businesses, more than 90% of which have transitioned to EO in the past decade. This growth, combined with the vast economic potential that EO has for businesses, employees and the wider economy, means that now is an ideal opportunity to advocate on behalf of the sector to government and other key decision-makers. 

To take advantage of this opportunity, the EOA has been developing its policy, advocacy and influencing arm to ensure that EOA members’ and the EO sector’s interests are represented in government policy and legislation. It is vital that this work is relevant, and truly reflects the interests of our members and of the sector.  

We have been working extensively with our members and advisors over the course of 2023 to co-produce the EOA’s policy priorities. These priorities will inform how we understand key issues facing EO and EOBs, how we can address these issues, and how we can continue to support the sector’s growth and unlock its full economic potential. 

Engaging with members in this way has shown us a clear path forward to promoting their interests. Working directly with our member and advisor network we’ve seen three key themes emerging and, in June and July, brought together members, advisors and other stakeholders to discuss these together as an Association. 

A strong response to the EOT consultation 

Given that most of our members, and the majority of the EO sector, are owned by EOTs, it is no surprise that a huge emphasis has been placed on the government consultation on taxation of employee trusts 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be producing guidance for members to respond to this consultation, and issuing our own response as the EOA. We’ll also be working as closely with possible with HMRC to develop a clear line of communication between government and the sector. 

Supporting transitions and best practice 

Discussions and roundtables with our members have demonstrated just how passionate we all are about Good EO. Time and time again, it’s been emphasised just how important it is that we have a shared understanding of what best practice actually looks like. 

It’s not just about definitions, employee owned businesses want to see how to practically make best practice work; how can businesses actually embed the principles and technical elements of employee ownership, and how they can use best practice that suits them.  

Unlocking the potential of EO  

We know that EO has massive economic potential: for businesses, for employees, and for our wider economy communities. So, one of our key questions has been, how do we unlock this potential to the fullest? 

It’s clear from our members that the EOA needs to continue pursuing an active role in raising the profile of the sector; in demonstrating its value to government, to institutions like banks, and to other stakeholders. And we need to go further still, and engage with these stakeholders on practical ways that they can work with the stakeholder. 

Find out more 

You can read more about our roundtables, wider consultation with members, and how the EOA is using this insight in our full consultation briefing note.

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