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Owning the company you work for

Almost 23,000 BT staff recently shared out a £1.1 billion fortune after a five-year employee share-ownership scheme paid out. The windfalls are worth an average of £49,000 per participant.

The staff received discounted shares at 61p each in 2009 and continued adding to their investment monthly. Their shares are now worth 388.5p each.

A number of leading companies offer profit-share schemes. Sports Direct paid out £112m in shares to around 2,000 staff last year as part of a 2009 long-term bonus scheme, and the John Lewis Partnership gives all staff the same percentage bonus as a proportion of base salary.

A report by Acas and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) - GOV.UK - Employee ownership: guide for employees - suggests that employee ownership, when underpinned by strong mechanisms for employee engagement, can:

  • provide a catalyst for greater employee commitment, engagement and wellbeing
  • reduce absenteeism, staff turnover and accidents in the workplace
  • produce substantially faster employment and sales growth
  • lead to higher productivity and profitability, as well as less variability over the economic cycle, giving a business greater resilience

Acas publications and services

We provide a brief guide to Employee ownership, which provides a rounded introduction to the topic and also the essential links to the UK bodies that can advise on and facilitate the change.

The Acas/BIS guide to employee ownership, GOV.UK - Employee ownership: guide for employees, sets out how employees can drive change in company ownership.

For free, impartial advice on flexible working, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 or consult Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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