The deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has called for employees to have the right to shares in the company they work for, as part of his bid to transform the UK into what is being dubbed a “John Lewis economy.”
Speaking at a summit in London, Nick Clegg said that he supported a culture shift to help people become their own boss, adding: “We need to find the right levers to drive a kind of culture shift where going down the employee ownership route isn’t a eureka moment, but is much more normal, commonplace.
“Not everyone wants to set up their own company, but we all know we could; we all know someone else who has.
“That’s my aim for employee ownership too – another way to be your own boss.”
The deputy Prime Minister went on to say: “If we move towards some mechanism by which employees can trigger a request for employee ownership, as today’s report says, a number of questions still need answering: What’s the correct minimum number of employees needed to make a request? What are fair grounds for turning one down? Should they be allowed at any time, or just at a specific point in the business life cycle, like succession? And, crucially, is the best way to achieve this a new statutory right, or some other mechanism?
“So, in order to get the answer to these and other questions, we’re launching a call for evidence. We’ll gather the views of the sector as well as business and employees more broadly and we’ll report back in the autumn.”
It is believed that businesses such as the John Lewis Partnership, which is owned by its workers and distributes its profits between them, are seen by Nick Clegg as a key way to improve productivity and unlock economic growth.
As an accountant, Sarah Jenkins, specialises in management accounting, business development and financial reporting.