The Ownership Effect Inquiry published the Ownership Dividend report on 27 June 2018, setting out the findings and recommendations following its year-long inquiry into the UK's employee ownership sector.
The Inquiry, chaired by Baroness Bowles, comprises an independent panel of senior business leaders and industry experts. Baroness Bowles notes that the aim of all partners in the Inquiry is "to enable UK business and the wider economy to benefit from employee ownership by making it better known, better understood, and better supported".
The report acknowledges that UK productivity has stalled, and that employee ownership offers a meaningful response to many fundamental economic challenges (as well as benefitting workers and businesses). The Panel's conclusion is that "there is a significant dividend to be obtained by growing employee ownership in our economy".
Michael Carter, head of the Incentives team at Osborne Clarke, comments that "We support the valuable work the Panel has been doing in the area of employee ownership. In particular, we agree with the financial recommendations set out in the report such as the recommendation that the limit on qualifying bonuses (currently £3,600) which can be paid free of income tax by employee owned companies to their employees should be increased. Further, extending the tax relief so that such payments fall outside the scope of NICs would increase their use. We hope that the government sees the potential of employee share ownership and invests in the sector, to encourage and promote the growth of employee owned businesses."