A press release from BIS brings some welcome news on a long-standing Liberal Democrat, and before that Liberal, belief:
Responding to recommendations made by Graeme Nuttall in his independent review of the sector, the Government has approved plans for a range of activity that will help to grow the number of businesses that become or convert to the employee ownership model.
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 and 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. Graeme’s report makes clear that sharing ownership means sharing success.
“Our economy suffered a massive heart attack – now we have to build our strength back up. To pump oxygen back into the system and get Britain working again, it’s got to be out with the old and in with a new more diverse economy that is fairer for all.
“The plans we’re setting out today are the first important steps in boosting this burgeoning sector.”
Jo Swinson said:
“There has never been a more important time to create the right environment for different ways of running a business. Employee-owned companies have proved to be flexible and resilient during tough times, and have a clear role to play in securing long-term economic growth. So I’m very pleased to be taking the first steps to implementing Graeme Nuttall’s recommendations.
“Graeme set us a challenging agenda and our response is equally ambitious. 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. 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.”