‘The Ownership Effect Inquiry’ – new national Inquiry is launched today

Today we announce the launch of The Ownership Effect Inquiry; a new national Inquiry into employee ownership in the UK. This Inquiry is launched in partnership with the eaga Trust and the John Lewis Partnership – with the support of Cass and Manchester Business Schools – and is chaired by Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted.

The Ownership Effect Inquiry will reveal new evidence on the performance of employee-owned businesses following a sustained period of growth in their number over the last 5 years. At a time when there is a significant focus on UK productivity, corporate behaviour and Brexit, the Inquiry will identify opportunities to grow the effect of employee ownership as an economic and social enabler.

Throughout the summer, an independent, business-led Panel of experts from business, finance, law, accounting and management will receive oral and written evidence from industry experts, advisers and employee owned business leaders. The Panel’s findings, conclusions and recommendations will be published in the autumn in a comprehensive final report. This will outline in full the potential of employee ownership and its contribution to UK productivity growth and corporate behaviour.

Inquiry Chair, Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted said:

“The Ownership Effect Inquiry is an important opportunity both to reveal the strengths and consider the untapped potential of this important sector of the economy. Aside from the obvious economic benefits of employee ownership, the sector also exemplifies a much-needed example of how we can all do business better at a time when the Government has a clear focus on improving standards in corporate behaviour.”

Chief Executive of the EOA, Deb Oxley, continued:

“The UK employee ownership sector has a combined turnover of between £30-40bn annually, yet time and again it is overlooked in key government publications, such as the recent Industrial Strategy. We firmly believe that the next Government must look to employee ownership as a model that can deliver more for the UK economy, so there has never been a better time to gather a solid body of evidence to drive this aim forward.”

Richard Marr of the eaga Trust, added:

“There is already clear evidence to show that the employee owned sector is growing, yet there is still a lack of awareness and understanding about the important contribution it makes to our economy. The eaga Trust is dedicated to championing the sector to generate more investment in it and to support its future growth so we are delighted to play a key role as a project partner in this important Inquiry.”

Simon Fowler of The John Lewis Partnership concluded:

“There is increasing evidence to show that employee-owned companies are more productive, resilient, and profitable long-term, and that people who work for them achieve higher levels of wellbeing. At John Lewis and Waitrose we are delighted to give our full backing to The Ownership Effect Inquiry, and we look forward to the first hearings.”