FAQ

For employees
  • Most employee owned firms run just like other businesses, governed by a Board of Directors and managed by a professional executive team.  Companies find the level of consultation which best suits them, and usually this involves more involvement and transparency than existed before. Some decisions will still be taken unilaterally by the manager who carries ultimate responsibility for that issue, especially if there are pressures of time or business needs.  However, the manager will make the decision aware that they are likely to be held to account for it.

  • The conditions of sale of shares will be set out in the Trust Deeds, any Share Plan Rules and the company’s articles of association. Many companies restrict the sale of shares to other employees or to the company.  In tax effective share schemes, there are rules about when you can sell shares in order to benefit from the tax relief.

    Many companies operate a “Share Dealing Window” which is  a specific time period when shares can be bought and sold.

  • There are no more liabilities as an employee owner than there were before the transaction.  The company will be responsible for funding the business transfer, and if the company was to run into difficulties, individual employees would not be held responsible.

  • There will be little change to your day to day role within the company.  What might change is that you will be provided with more information about the company’s plans and performance, and your opinion will be sought on any changes the company might make.

General
  • Selling the business to the employees is not necessarily any more complicated than a trade sale or a management buy-out.  The advantages are that the vendor is more in control of the process, and there can be less distraction and uncertainty in the business.

  • No. There is no transfer of undertaking, and therefore no change in the terms and conditions of employment contracts.

  • Employee ownership means that all employees are owners of the business.  The company will still be professionally managed and governed by a Board of Directors. Some companies choose to have employees appointed to the Board; others will form “Partner Councils” or employee groups who will input into the company’s strategy and decision making process.  There might be matters where it is sensible to consult employees more widely.  Generally, employee owned businesses run like other firms, but with a much higher level of transparency of information and more involvement from all stakeholders

  • It is more usual that external funding will be sought to fund the exit of the owner, and vendor financing will comprise part of the package.  Employees are usually asked to buy in to some share holding at the outset, with an ongoing share scheme to encourage future involvement.

Training for Employee Owners
  • I have run these courses for several and every time delegates emphasise how much the interacting with other attendees reinforces their learning.  No company gets things all right, and everyone has something they learn from each other.  If the course was of one day duration then there would be limited opportunities to get to know other delegates.

    Many employee owners travel quite a distance to attend these courses. The rate offered by the hotel makes this a cost effective way to pack in as many hours of course time as possible, without encroaching too much on work and personal time.

  • This event is specifically for people from employee owned businesses to share knowledge and experience and attendance is restricted to those employees. If you would like to find out more then contact carole@ownershipassociates.co.uk and I’m happy to arrange a meeting with one of my client companies.

  • The course will cover a range of topics to do with employee ownership, and will also give an insight into how other employee owned businesses operate.  Although people will come from a diverse range of sectors, it is often the same challenges which remain; how to keep people engaged, how to get employees to understand the rights and responsibilities of ownership, how to deal with conflicts within groups.

    What you should leave with are plenty of ideas to take back with you, a better understanding of what is involved. and some valuable contacts in other employee owned businesses.

  • Learning activities will continue into the evening, and there is an early start on day 2. However, we do acknowledge that a stay away from home can be very difficult for some people to manage, so would try to accommodate any special arrangements. Unfotunately, we can’t offer discounts if delegates choose not to stay in the hotel.

  • We have found that this timing is the best way to maximise the time available, yet keep the costs down as well as enabling travel arrangements.  There is a lot of material to cover, and much of the value of the course is getting to know other employees from similar businesses.

  • This event is specifically designed for individuals within employee owned organisations who are in some way responsible for promoting the employee owned status.  There will be employee-elected directors, elected Trustees, and people from Employee or Partner Councils.  A main feature of the event is the ability to share experiences so there will be a number of different companies represented.  Numbers are restricted to facilitate exchange of ideas.

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