Skip to main content
Publication

Over 50 employee ownership articles by Fieldfisher's experts

Locations

United Kingdom

Fieldfisher's experts in employee ownership solutions have published numerous articles. Below is an overview, by subject headings, of over 50 of these, with links to them. More articles, including case studies and research, are available at View All Insights.  

References below to an EOT are to an employee-ownership trust and references to the Nuttall Review are to 'Sharing Success - The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership' (an independent review for the UK Government by Fieldfisher partner Graeme Nuttall OBE).

Please remember that law and practice may have changed since the original publication date of an article and that these articles are no substitute for getting professional advice.

Contents quick links

Advantages of an employee buy-out
Architects
CGT exemption and EOTs
COVID-19
Definition of employee ownership
EOT and employee benefit trust comparison
EOT tax exemptions (income tax and CGT)
ESG (environmental, social and governance) aspects of employee ownership
Income tax exemption for EOT qualifying bonuses
International aspects
Nuttall Review
Partnerships and employee ownership
Preparing for employee ownership
Public service mutuals
Purpose of employee ownership
Retailers
Share buy backs
Succession solution
Trade unions
Trustee duties
Universal Credit
Valuations

Advantages of an employee buy-out
The article 'Employee Ownership as a Business Succession Solution' sets out a helpful list of advantages of an employee buy-out compared to a third party sale, as does 'Neat: employee ownership trusts as the perfect succession solution'.

Architects
'Employee ownership in architecture' explains why employee ownership is now a proven method of ownership within the architecture sector.

CGT exemption and EOTs
'Securing the Succession' explains the CGT exemption if a controlling interest is sold to an EOT as do other articles listed below under EOT tax exemptions.

COVID-19
There is an overview of issues to consider in 'COVID-19 impact on share plans and employee trust owned companies'. Other articles consider the impact of COVID-19 on particular aspects of operating an employee-owned companies including 'Share valuations – obstacle and opportunity', EOTs – A refreshingly different ownership model' (covers financing issues) and 'Why it is vital you keep the trustee of your EOT informed during the COVID-19 pandemic'. 'News from HMRC' deals with furloughing holders of enterprise management incentives (EMI) options.

Also 'Employee ownership, the solution to higher standards of ESG' and 'Ireland needs EOTs because employee ownership means more and better jobs' highlight what employee ownership can do to support "Build Back Better" campaigns.  See also 'Step down and step up – the rise of employee ownership post-COVID-19'.

Definition of employee ownership
'EO v3.0 - Employee ownership with added Gandhian purpose' explains how the UK defines employee ownership.  Also available as a video

EOT and employee benefit trust comparison
'Neat: employee ownership trusts as the perfect succession solution' describes how the "all-employee benefit requirement" distinguishes an EOT from a section 86 Inheritance Tax Act 1984 employee trust.

EOT tax exemptions (income tax and CGT)
'Indirect Employee Ownership' explains why the Government decided to introduce two tax reliefs to encourage, promote and support indirect (trust) employee ownership. 'Securing the Succession', 'New tax exemptions for companies owned by EOTs' and Tried and tested – Graeme Nuttall explains how employee ownership trusts can produce better business outcomes describe the tax reliefs.

ESG (environmental, social and governance) aspects of employee ownership
Graeme Nuttall's Gandhi Foundation lecture explains how the employee ownership business model can promote good corporate citizenship.  Following the lecture the UK Employee Ownership Association, Employee Ownership Wales, Scotland for Employee Ownership, Irish ProShare Association and Employee Ownership Australia all jointly announced in 'Employee ownership – the solution to higher standards of ESG' that they would encourage every employee-owned company to make an overall positive contribution to society and the environment, as part of promoting the success of the business.

Income tax exemption for EOT qualifying bonuses

'Back to basics: The income tax exemption for employee bonuses' See also other articles listed above under EOT tax exemptions.

International aspects

EOTs can work internationally as shown in 'Fieldfisher advises first US business to adopt UK employee ownership model'. The early international momentum around EOTs, following the Nuttall Review, is described in 'The Employee Ownership Business Model Is Incredibly Welcome News' and in the messages of support from international organisations in 'The UK employee ownership sector's success is celebrated around the world on EO Day'.  Here's an explanation of EOTs for Employee Ownership Australia: 'EOTs – A refreshingly different ownership model for private companies'.

'Employee Ownership: One Year On' sets out a checklist from The Nuttall Review 'One Year On Report' that other jurisdictions can apply to test how well they are doing to promote employee ownership.

Nuttall Review

'A guide to source materials including the employee ownership tax exemption' provides links to the main documents related to the Nuttall Review including Government announcements, the Right to Request consultation, amending the rule against perpetuities proposals, the inaugural Robert Oakeshott Memorial lecture, share buy-back changes, EO Day 2013 publications following Nuttall review recommendations, the HM Treasury internal review and the EOT tax exemptions in the Finance Act 2014.  'An employee ownership health check' sets out key questions asked by the Nuttall Review, the answers to which provide a health check for the state of employee ownership.

Partnerships and employee ownership

Published in 2015 'Employee buy outs: an alternative succession solution for professional partnerships' was the first article to explain how EOTs could be used as a partnership succession solution.  This is an idea put into practice that year as seen in 'Fieldfisher advises Hayes Davidson on transition to employee ownership'.  See also 'Fieldfisher advises on first major UK law firm's move to employee ownership'.

Preparing for employee ownership

'How to prepare for EO' is a practical guide for business owners to the issues to consider.  'Employee ownership: A panacea or passing fad?' sets out six key elements to think about prior to implementing a transition. As explained in 'Are you missing out?', be prepared for low awareness of the specifics of tax advantaged share plans among your employees if you are considering direct employee ownership.

Public service mutuals

'How to become an employee owned mutual' explains the six important stages to consider for a successful transfer of ownership and see also '12 reasons to mutualise'.  See also 'Public sector welcomes practical roadmap to employee ownership', 'Open Public Services White Paper and Mutualisation' and 'Graeme Nuttall appointed Mutuals Ambassador by Cabinet Office' for background information on what the UK Government has done to promote public service mutuals.

Purpose of employee ownership

There's a high level introduction to what employee ownership means in 'The life-changing power of employee ownership' and 'The employee ownership business model'

Retailers

'Retales™ - Is employee ownership a viable option for retailers?'

Share buy backs

'Share buy-backs - The Government's proposed changes to promote employee ownership' and 'Employee ownership and share buy back changes' explain why the Nuttall Review resulted in fundamental changes to UK rules on Treasury shares and own share purchases in order to support employee ownership.  There's a more detailed guide in 'The Nuttall Review: simplifying share buy backs to encourage employee ownership'  'Share buybacks – finessing the new regime' explains further changes made in 2015.

Succession solution

Employee ownership avoids the difficulties of a management buyout or other traditional exits for owner-managers.  Employee ownership's success as a business succession solution is explained in numerous articles including 'Employee buy outs: an alternative succession solution for professional partnerships', 'An easier way to pass the baton'. 'Employee ownership is a versatile business model'. 'Employee Ownership as a Business Succession Solution'. 'Neat: employee ownership trusts as the perfect succession solution' 'Tried and tested – EOTs' and 'Securing the Succession'.

Trade unions

'Trade unions and employee ownership' explains why trade unionism and employee ownership can be a good mix.

Trustee duties

'Why it is vital you keep the trustee of your EOT informed during the COVID-19 pandemic'  discusses what is needed to ensure an EOT trustee acts in the best interests, both financial and non-financial, of employees.

'The EOT as a modern economic model' discusses employee trusts as a permanent feature in an ownership structure, to nurture employee ownership culture for the long term.

Universal Credit

Fieldfisher obtained an important, never before published, confirmation from HM Revenue & Customs that EOT qualifying bonus payments are not treated as earnings for the purpose of Universal Credit. Read more in 'Protecting low paid employees'.

Valuations
'Share valuations – obstacle and opportunity' discusses share valuation issues including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sign up to our email digest

Click to subscribe or manage your email preferences.

SUBSCRIBE