I’ve just returned from the second of two events marking Employee Ownership Day. Employee ownership is one of those worthy but rather dull sounding policy ideas which has been in our Manifestos from time immemorial, but like motherhood and apple pie, has a comforting rather than inspiring air.
What this Government has done about employee ownership however, deserves rather more attention. In 2012 Norman Lamb appointed Graeme Nuttall, the leading legal adviser in the field, to produce a report on what need to be done to promote employee ownership (EO). His report contained 28 recommendations. The Government has carried them all forward. The most eye-catching is a £75 million commitment to provide various tax reliefs for people who sell their shares into an employee-owned business. As a result, the sector is booming. Membership of the EO trade association doubled last year, with companies across the economy – from architects to insurance brokers – switching to EO.
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