Unprecedented demand for Scottish staff to own their workplace


According to a Lindsays lawyer, more Scottish businesses than ever are deciding to become staff-owned.

The company has been involved in nearly twice as many employee share ownership deals across the country so far this year than in all of 2021.

Speaking today as part of Employee Share Ownership Day, Douglas Roberts, a partner in the company’s corporate team, said there were no signs of this slowing down. trend, with the Scottish government pushing for 500 employee-owned businesses (EOBs) to be based in the country by 2030.

And he believes the rise will add another layer of resilience to the country’s economy as businesses face challenges including rising costs.

The company has already entered into nine employee ownership trust (EOT) agreements this year, many of which have paved the way for new sectors.

Mr Roberts said: “We are seeing huge demand from companies interested in, and then becoming, employee owned. In addition to the transitions we have completed so far this year, a number of other agreements are in the works. This is really encouraging for the Scottish economy.

“More and more companies are realizing that employee ownership can work for them. It’s clear from the companies we’ve been involved with that this is a model that can work for any size business.

“It’s a model that benefits everyone.

“For employees who become employee shareholders, they secure a majority stake in their future. For those looking to sell their business, it allows them to secure the future of their business while managing their departure in a way that works for them.

Recent figures from Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) revealed that there are currently 195 EOBs in operation in Scotland, with 146 registered in Scotland and 49 registered non-Scottish.

The deals Lindsays has been involved in so far this year include one that saw Edinburgh-based Kidzcare become what is believed to be the first company in the Scottish childcare sector to go employee-owned .

Others include those who saw the Inverness-based Carlton Bingo chain and the Glasgow-based music industry giant come under the ownership of EOT.

Organized by the Employee Ownership Association, EO Day highlights the economic and social benefits that can be achieved when employees have a stake and a say in their workplace. The theme this year is #GrowEO.

Research after the 2008 credit crisis found that employee-owned companies outperformed non-EO companies, a factor that could prove important in the current financial climate.

Mr. Roberts added, “The knowledge that employees of EO companies have that their destiny is in their own hands can be a powerful factor in motivating them to ensure the success and sustainability of their business. They benefit directly from this success.

“As a result, they often stay together and work harder for each other. This encourages innovation, as well as improved performance and productivity. As the number of employee-owned businesses grows, this will add an increasingly important layer of resilience to the Scottish economy.


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