Government sets out plans to boost employee ownership

The government has approved plans for a range of activities that aim to grow the employee-ownership sector.

These are in response to recommendations made in The Nuttall Review on Employee Ownership, which was published in July.

The plans include:

  • Assessing whether to establish an independent Institute for Employee Ownership.
  • An off-the-shelf model for setting up an employee-owned business.
  • Work to examine the guidance on tax issues relating to employee ownership.
  • A guide for staff and employers to request and agree an employee-ownership takeover.
  • Work with the John Lewis Partnership to examine the barriers to funding for private sector employee-owned companies.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “Businesses that are owned by their employees produce more, grow faster, keep their workforce happier, and pay staff more fairly.

“[Nuttall’s] report makes it clear that sharing ownership means sharing success. The plans we’re setting out today are the first important steps in boosting this burgeoning sector.”

Jo Swinson, minister for employment relations, added:
“We will address one of the biggest barriers to take-up of employee-ownership schemes: awareness that it exists. We will improve access to the information and help people understand what they need to start up and run an employee-owned business.

“And we will clarify what practical steps businesses need to take in order to become employee owned, as well as encouraging more business owners to consider it.

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“We will develop helpful toolkits for employees to use when requesting employee ownership, and to help employers when agreeing to it. Our action plan will boost employee ownership in the UK and help give new impetus to a business model we want to see thriving across the country.”

The government has also asked Nuttall to publish a report one year on, looking at the progress made on delivering his recommendations.