Image credit: Employee Ownership Association

Employee ownership (EO) is on the rise in the UK and it is spreading benefits to workers, communities and local economies up and down the country.

The Employee Ownership Association’s (EOA) new report ‘People-powered growth: the rapid rise of employee and worker ownership in the UK’ reveals the speed of employee ownership growth and the opportunity it presents for the future.

Whether it’s a worker co-operative or an employee-owned trust (EOT), like the John Lewis Partnership, the employee ownership model has been delivering results. The new research finds that employee-owned firms have been far outstripping conventional businesses in a range of metrics: whether that’s productivity, worker wages, profitability, or job security.

If the next Labour & Co-operative Government is to create a better economy and restore living standards after 13 years of Conservative stagnation, we will need to build an economy which is more resilient, more productive and delivers good jobs. The new research shows employee-owned firms are 8 – 12% more productive than other business forms, with employee-owned businesses being 50% more likely to invest in R&D and innovation. Employee-owned businesses help create good, secure jobs – with the research showing EO firms have higher minimum annual wages and their workers are five times less likely to be made redundant over the last three years. The employee-owned sector punches above its weight in economic contribution – with 0.1% of overall businesses driving between 1.7-2.1% of total economic activity.

Worker co-operatives also have a unique role to play as employee-owned businesses. The new research demonstrates the power of the co-operative model in promoting employee participation, with 94% of worker co-ops enabling employees to influence strategic organisational decision making – considerably ahead of other forms of EO and far beyond non-EO businesses. Worker co-operatives are also demarcated by their propensity for flexible working arrangements for workers and a greater focus on environmentally sustainable practices.

In the build up to the next General Election, we will be continuing to champion co-operative and employee-owned growth in the economy. The Co-operative Party knows employee owned and co-operative growth will underpin the development of a fairer, greener and stronger economy. The next Labour & Co-operative Government is committed to growing both the co-operative and employee-owned sectors across the country – so that all can benefit from the advantages of the co-operative and employee-owned models.

To find out more and read the new report, please visit the Employee Ownership Association website.