Businesses celebrate being proudly employee owned

Today the movement celebrates Employee Ownership Day

The UK’s employee ownership movement came together today (21 June) to shout about the positive impact of employee-owned (EO) businesses. Employee Ownership Day has been celebrated in June for the past twelve years, and this year’s theme is #ProudlyEO.

According to the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), EO businesses contribute over £30bn to the UK economy each year, and are 8-12% more productive than non-EO businesses. Employee owners also report higher levels of job satisfaction and security, and are more likely to recommend their workplace to others.

EO day was introduced to raise awareness of employee ownership and its benefits in the UK, and now involves thousands of employee-owners and EO advocates across the sector. This EO day, many employee owners and partners took part in a range of activities, from events to awards to profit sharing.  

EO Day sponsor, 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, marked its 10th anniversary of being employee owned as part of the celebrations.

CEO, Chris McDermott, said that becoming employee owned “has enabled us to develop a more positive and collaborative work environment, and a level of trust that is difficult to replicate by other means”.  

Other businesses celebrating include Parfetts Cash and Carry, who are issuing a profit share for EO Day, and Birmingham-based crafters Hockley Mint, who are holding a BBQ and get together.  

Medical manufacturer Pennine Healthcare held an event on Wednesday to mark the occasion, and Eastbourne-based software testing company Zoonou is hosting an online presentation. 

Welsh co-operative development centre Cwmpas is also joining the celebrations. In a blog post published on the day, Cwmpas detail the benefits EO has brought to Wales, including greater economic resilience and stability, an attractive option for business succession, enhanced productivity and innovation, community and social impact, and a fairer economy.

Cwmpas is also highlighting the work of Welsh EO businesses, such as Cwmni Da, a television production company based in Caernarfon, which transitioned to employee-ownership through an EO trust, partly as protection against consolidation in the independent television production sector.

“Celebrating employee ownership in Wales is not just about recognising and educating businesses about the business model; it is about championing a vision for a more resilient, equitable and innovative economy,” said Cwmpas. “It is about building stronger communities and creating a fairer Wales where everyone has a stake in success. 

“As we look to the future, embracing and promoting employee ownership will be key to unlocking the full potential of Welsh businesses and the people who drive them, from exiting owners to current employees and those who will join in the future. EO is there for all of them.”

The Employee Ownership Association (EOA) are taking the opportunity to call on those elected on 4 July to “future-proof the EOT”, through actions such as tax incentives and support EO in succession planning for UK businesses. 

“A nation that works hard to invest in growth, without the equal focus on retaining wealth will continue to stagnate,” said James de le Vingne, chief executive of the EOA. “It’s time the UK government builds on the drive from Scotland, Wales, West Midlands, Greater London and South Yorkshire to support EO succession and prevent the devastation to hundreds of thousands of livelihoods by a decade-long silver tsunami of unprepared business owners reaching retirement.” 

de le Vingne also wished a “Happy EO Day to our members and the wider EO Community who will celebrate and demonstrate the impacts of a sector that is Proudly Employee Owned. A pride, ambition, and pioneering spirit that should be harnessed by a target-driven government commitment to grow EO.”