This afternoon the Government launched their response to the recommendations made by Fieldfisher partner Graeme Nuttall in his independent report on employee ownership. Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson announced an action plan to knock down the barriers preventing more British businesses from becoming employee-owned.
Today’s response sets out an action plan for Government and key stakeholders to deliver Graeme’s key recommendations, and includes commitments to:
- Establish an Implementation Group, chaired by the Minister for Employment Relations, bringing together representatives from Government, business and professional services and the employee ownership sector to drive the implementation programme
- Work with the employee and wider mutuals sector, assessing the viability of setting up an independent Institute to raise awareness of employee ownership
- Work with mainstream organisations including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Law Society to develop simple ‘off the shelf’ templates for setting up an employee owned company and make these readily available through professional advisors, including working with HMRC to consider the guidance available on tax issues
- Organise a Ministerial programme of regional activity to raise awareness of employee ownership
- Develop a voluntary toolkit for employees and employers to use when requesting and agreeing employee ownership in a company
- Work with the John Lewis Partnership to examine the barriers to funding for private sector employee-owned companies.
Graeme Nuttall, a partner at law firm Fieldfisher says, "I am thrilled to see the Government's endorsement of the Nuttall Review. Promoting employee ownership is now clearly and firmly Government policy and will be achieved by raising awareness of employee ownership, increasing the resources available to support its development and reducing the complexity involved.
"All types of employee ownership are encouraged by the Government's action plan. I am pleased to see the consultation on de-regulating and simplifying internal share markets. Changes here will promote further uptake of direct employee ownership. The simple ‘off the shelf’ templates for setting up an employee owned company are particularly needed to promote the employee trust model. The toolkit to request a discussion on employee ownership and the moves to raise finance for employee ownership will help make it easier to establish. The co-ordination with the Cabinet Office's public sector mutualisation programme will amplify the effect of these measures.
"There is much in the action plan that will raise awareness, and assessing the viability of an independent Institute, to raise awareness of employee ownership, is also an important step forward. I look forward to heading up this initiative.
"Employee ownership has been proven to work in businesses of all sizes, in all sectors and at whatever stage of the business life cycle. It delivers business performance alongside employee well-being - a powerful, winning combination. Employee ownership is not a special offer available only to employees of a well known department store and supermarket, it is available throughout the UK and has the potential to unlock growth in the economy.
"I look forward to continuing to work with the Government, the employee ownership sector and the professional bodies who have all got behind this action plan, to drive forward employee ownership into the mainstream of the UK economy."
For further information, please contact:
Louise Eckersley, PR Manager, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP on 020 7861 4120
Notes to editors
1. BIS press release:
2. Sharing Success: The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership can be found at:
3. Cabinet Offices Mutual Ambassadors press release:
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