Craig Dearden-Phillips (Who will join these social enterprise heroes?, 4 May) calls for a “playbook” to help local authorities create and nurture new employee-led mutuals. Look no further – the first chapter of that playbook already exists. Earlier this year a group of experts with a track record in the sector collaborated to create a simple and accessible How To guide aimed directly at anyone considering the mutual option, from frontline employees to service directors and council leaders. How to Become an Employee-owned Mutual – an Action Checklist for the Public Sector is freely available from any of our websites, and offers a starting point for everything from business planning and raising capital, through to governance and pensions.
Dearden-Phillips is absolutely right that more support of this kind must be made available to ensure early adopters are not effectively being set up to fail. That help can come direct from the sector, but the government must fill the current vacuum and provide clear signposting to where public sector employees can find the high-quality support, shared learning and up-to-date information they vitally need to make this happen.
Authors: Patrick Burns, chief executive, Employee Ownership Association; Graeme Nuttall, partner, Fieldfisher; Peter Stocks, chief executive, Baxi Partnership; Hilary Thompson, chief executive, Office for Public Management.
Please also see Public sector welcomes practical roadmap to employee ownership.