red hard hat on pavement
Photo by Ümit Yıldırım on Unsplash

At last some good news! Employee-ownership continues to grow significantly across the UK. This is a positive story for employees, the economy and society as a whole.

The number of employee-owned businesses is growing at an annual rate of 10%. There are now more than a thousand such businesses in the UK. In Wales, we have tripled the number since 2015.

There are good reasons for this growth. Research demonstrates that employee-owned businesses outperform their counterparts on productivity, staff retention and absenteeism and are more resilient during times of crisis. Increasingly, business owners are looking to employee ownership as a means to retain and attract talented employees and drive business growth. Furthermore, back in 2014, the UK Government announced new legislation and tax reliefs to encourage more companies to adopt employee ownership.

Employees benefit from a share in the profits and from better job satisfaction. Society gains as wealth is distributed more evenly.

Employee ownership is where a business is totally or significantly owned by its employees. This is achieved either by employees owning shares directly or indirectly through an Employee Ownership Trust.

At Cwmpas, we have been promoting employee ownership for a number of years. One of the biggest barriers to increasing the tally of employee-owned businesses has been a lack of awareness, with business owners not considering employee ownership has an option when planning their succession. But, as a result of working with business intermediaries , such as accountants and advisors, and with strong support from Welsh Government, that awareness is increasing in Wales.

Challenges like these and plans to overcome them are critical to the continued growth of the sector, and this is something I’m delighted will be discussed in Westminster this week.

At a roundtable event in Westminster, the Co-operative Party is bringing together representatives from the sector including Cwmpas and employee owned businesses to further this endeavour and to make the case to parliamentarians of how we can sustain growth.

As ever, it’s critical to see employee ownership and the benefits it can bring on the agenda, and I look forward to making the case on behalf of Cwmpas.