Business minister Norman Lamb has confirmed government action to knock down the barriers that stop more British businesses from becoming employee-owned.

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Mr Lamb and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg are keen to create more ‘John Lewis’ style business where staff have a greater say in the business.

The announcement follows a six-month review by Graeme Nuttall, the Government’s independent advisor on employee ownership.

The Norfolk MP was recently joined by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at a summit in London where the announcement was made. The summit was attended by employee-owned businesses and groups from the sector. Law and accountancy firms, professional bodies, business advisors, academics, banks and policymakers were also there.

Under the plans an independent, expert Institute for Employee Ownership will be established as a professional body to provide information and advice for businesses. New off-the-shelf ‘DIY packs’ for companies will cover legal, tax and other considerations and enable companies to adopt employee owned business models quickly and easily. Finally, the Government has launched a call for evidence on how a ‘Right to Request’ employee ownership could work in practice.

Mr Lamb, the minister responsible for employee ownership, said: “People have been horrified by the greed and short-term thinking which led to the financial crash of 2008 and want to see a more responsible capitalism.

“The evidence shows that employee-owned firms are more productive, have weathered the recession better and have smaller gaps between pay at the top and ordinary workers.

“These steps are a key milestone in the development of what I consider a very important and growing part of the economy.

“Graeme’s report sets the immediate agenda and we must now respond - both in Government and the employee ownership community - to deliver the work needed to create a successful, flourishing and growing employee owned sector.”

7 comments

  • The first thing that this " new " idea brings is an new Quango. And all the very,very expensive baggage that is entailed. Are employees going to be able to march into a board meeting and state that they have taken control of a company. My work experience is of wanting to be treated fairly, well payed and made to feel part of a company. Not wanting ever to own it. if it is the corporate greed that has bought about the revelation of this new Quango why not control the greed. I seem to remember prior to this unelected government grabbing power of promises being made to bring big business to heel. About the same time the promise of a EU referendum was made. And how I miss Mr Norman Lamb when he was just a very hardworking local MP.

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    norman hall

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • Google 'Gordon Brown' and 'John Lewis' to see it's hardly Norman Lamb's idea.

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    Jono

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • Yes, I think this is a good idea.

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    Trevor Ashwin

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Interesting that Gordon Brown was talking about in 2009 - looks like corporate culture has been on the minds of all the parties since the banking collapse. Re "V"'s point on family businesses - does make you wonder if they should have some sort of exemption?

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    Shaun Lowthorpe

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • How does he intend to force these "family run" companies (especially in Yarmouth) to allow employees a share of the company ?.

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    "V"

    Monday, July 9, 2012

  • In response to Norman Hall, no quango is being created. The employee ownership sector themselves will set up an institute to promote the concept. It will have nothing to do with Government, although I am delighted it is happening. No company will be forced to accept employee ownership. We want to encourage companies to see the potential benefits: higher productivity, more resilient in tough economic times, a happier workforce and often more profitable.

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    Norman Lamb

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I liked the idea of the employee-ownership, but a recent unsatisfactory experience in a department of the John Lewis store in Cambridge, which appeared to be staffed solely by public school-boys (minus the legendary charm), has changed my view. It's just like the rest of the country now. :)

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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