Incentives for employee ownership of companies

The UK is one of the developed world’s most unequal societies – how do we address that absolute inequality into the next decade? One means is the classical way via the taxation system (a redistribution from rich to poor) and the other is to aim to create more equal economic outcomes from our companies. One way to do so is to incentivise employee ownership of companies that, as Robert Oakeshott, researcher on employee ownership, argues “entails a movement from business as a piece of property to business as a working community”.

Cooperatives such as John Lewis show that employee ownership can work. Employee ownership implies social emancipation as workers are members of a team, and puts the scale of earning differentials at the control of the workers – a good check on excessive executive pay.

4 Responses to “Incentives for employee ownership of companies”

  1. james

    Totally agree. Have made representations about this to the relevant people with regards the manifesto. Let’s hope there’s a greater focus on co-ownership. Credit to Tessa Jowell, and to Will Hutton who will chair the Commission on Ownership.

  2. Colin

    Also totally agree co-ownership is the way forward,many advantages over state ie bureaucratic control.

  3. Tim Worstall

    “Cooperatives such as John Lewis show that employee ownership can work.”

    Sure, all you’ve got to do is find someone with a successful business who wants to give it to the workers. As happened with John Lewis.

    In the absence of such, just how are the employees going to raise the money to buy/set up the business?

  4. Kay Tie

    As an evil top-hatted business owning capitalist, I am very happy to offer my employees share options so that they can acquire a stake in my company. But our lives have been made quite a bit more difficult since a certain G. Brown got his hands on the Treasury tiller and ruined share options with onerous tax rules and regulations.

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