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Insight

Government takes action to boost employee owned businesses

An action plan to knock down the barriers preventing more British businesses from becoming employee-owned was announced today by the Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson at the London Stock An action plan to knock down the barriers preventing more British businesses from becoming employee-owned was announced today by the Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson at the London Stock Exchange.  Responding to the Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership the Government pledged to take action to make employee ownership more widely understood and easier to establish. All 28 recommendations in the Nuttall Review are now wholly or partly supported by the Government as part of its policy on employee ownership.

The Government's endorsement of the Nuttall Review means 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.  The consultation on de-regulating and simplifying internal share markets is significant.   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.

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.

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