Politicians in the House of Commons are lining up to support the city-based Childbase Partnership push for increased employee ownership in UK businesses.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has publicly backed the idea as an answer to current economic ails, and now Employment Minister Norman Lamb and leading politicians are standing behind a Childbase call for action.
At a special reception at the House of Commons CEO Mike Thompson, CEO of The Childbase Partnership, which operates 41 day nurseries in the South of England from its Newport Pagnell headquarters, said:
“The time for talking has long passed; we need action now if the government wants to reap the benefits of increased employee engagement, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity which result from co-owned businesses.”
He called for legislation to provide a single route to employee-ownership; improved tax treatment for employee shareholders and better access to bank lending for co-owned firms.
“The reality is that without incentives for entrepreneurs to pursue employee ownership, few companies are willing to take the financial risk of drastically changing their ownership structure,” he said.
A Childbase Team joined politicians and Captains of Industry at the launch of the company-sponsored research – All of Our Business: Why Britain needs more private sector employee ownership – at the House of Commons.
Members of the Childbase Partnership Council, which has representatives from each of the 41 day nurseries and a school with a key role in the decision-making process, also attended the reception giving further proof that listening to employees and sharing success is the way forward.
“I am enormously proud to be here and impressed by the cross-party support for this research. I hope it is the start of positive action,” said Margaret Griffin of Devonshire Day Nursery.
Newly elected Councillor, Miranda Oliver of Mulberry Day Nursery, who has been employed by The Childbase Partnership for four years, said:
“It is times like this when you realise Childbase has a very different approach. Working together and listening to each other makes sense so it is difficult to understand why people think this is a new idea.”
Employment Minister, Norman Lamb MP, described the economic case for employee ownership as overwhelming and urged everybody to contribute their ideas to a government review due in July.
Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent, Tristram Hunt described the research as compelling and Jesse Norman, MP and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Employee ownership, said there had never been a better moment to drive through positive change.
The author of the Childbase sponsored report is Will Davies, Academic Director at the Centre for Mutual and Employee-owned Business, Kellogg College, Oxford University.