The Greens to advocate for legislatively supported employee participation
In her speech to the AGM of Australian Employee Ownership Association on 9th December 2010, Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon called for a “fair and balanced society that would mean an end to anti-social, environmentally destructive business practices.” The Senator-elect said that this could be achieved “by recognising that workers are the most highly motivated and productive when their vital interests are respected, when they have real opportunities to participate in decision-making and have a legally guaranteed means to achieve that.”
For the full text of the Key Note Address to the 2010 Annual General Meeting of the AEOA by Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon on the topic: “Give employees a say in company operations – the key to good environmental business practices“, go to “Speech to the AEOA AGM” .
A key quote from the speech – “I have outlined attitudes to industrial democracy as I strongly believe that if employees are to have the capacity to work and advocate for the environment when they are at work they need to know that they will not be penalised by demotion, loss of pay or the sack.
Right now the power relations in most workplaces are not conducive for working people speaking up for world-class environmental standards.
Although industrial democracy still has along way to go in this country I certainly acknowledge that a lot has and still can be achieved in terms of workplace environmental protection with many specific programs advanced on how to live and work in a more environmentally friendly way.”
Most people want more employee ownership, according to survey
From: Third Sector Online, 17 November 2010, Peter Holbrook, chief executive, Social Enterprise Coalition
The public thinks business people should use their know-how to tackle social problems, says a poll taken by the UK Social Enterprise Coalition
Almost two-thirds of people want to see more employee-owned businesses in the UK, according to the survey.
The survey of more than 2,000 people, released to coincide with Social Enterprise day on 17th November also found that 70 per cent of respondents believe more business people should use their skills to tackle social problems. According to the poll, people aged under 34 are more likely to support these proposals than older people, with 82 per cent believing business should be used to tackle social problems.
“These findings show people are ready for a new way to do business,” said Peter Holbrook, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition. “People blame the old business models for the recession and have lost their faith in them.”
Meanwhile, there appears to be massive opportunities for employee ownership with the progress that the UK’s “Big Society” program is making in devolving public and social services to employee owned social enterprises. See the latest news from the UK ESOP Centre on the demand this strategy is generating – ‘Eso in the frame for public services mutuality programme’ (from ‘it’s our business’, newspad of the UK ESOP Centre, December, 2010). The Employee Ownership Association UK also has a new web-page of “guides” for public sector bodies considering employee ownership options – you can see this at: http://www.employeeownership.co.uk/services/public-sector-services/ .
The Greens Take an Interest in Employee Ownership and Participation.
The AEOA is pleased to advise that Senator- elect Lee Rhiannon of The Greens has kindly accepted the Association’s invitation to make the Key Note Address at the 2010 Annual General Meeting on the topic: “Give employees a say in company operations – the key to good environmental business practices”.
The AGM will be held on Thursday, 9 December, 2010, commencing at 4:00pm. with the location being The Royal Exchange Club, 1 Gresham Street, Sydney (at the corner of Bridge Street).
The AGM will be in two segments, with the first part being held between 4pm and 5pm to enable the conducting of Association business and is restricted to AEOA Members. The second part will commence at 5pm and is open to all persons who have an interest in employee equity and who wish to hear what Senator-elect Lee Rhiannon and others have to say about employee participation and sustainable environmental business practices.
At the conclusion of the AGM, all in attendance are invited to meet over a drink to share information about mutual endeavours to create prosperous, fair and environmentally sound businesses for the Australian workforce and to ask questions of the Senator-elect.
The Annual Report is available to AEOA members in the “Members'” section of this web-site.
Obama Says Employee Ownership Should Be Encouraged
On September 28, a board member of the National Center for Employee Ownership in the US (NCEO), Tom Roback, had the opportunity to meet President Obama at one of his conversations with small groups of local people around the country. Tom asked the President if he would support ESOP legislation.
Obama said he would “absolutely be interested in taking a look at it.” He said “the idea behind ESOPs is that if employees have a piece of the action, they’re essentially shareholders in these companies, then you are aligning the interests of workers with the interests of the company as a whole.”
While that means employees are subject to the ups and downs of companies, “theoretically, at least, it’s something that can help grow companies, because the workers feel like they’re working for themselves, and they’re putting more of themselves into their job each and every day. I think that it’s something that can be encouraged.”
From: The Employee Ownership Report, November/December, 2010 – National Centre for Employee Ownership (US) www.nceo.org
Workshop on the “Employee Share Ownership Plans: Current practice and regulatory reform” research project.
The University of Melbourne Law School has been working on a project on Employee Share Ownership for three years. The project website contains details of the reports and other publications from the research project – see “Employee share ownership plans: Current practice and regulatory reform”.
The Law School is coming to the end of the project and it decided to hold a workshop to discuss the project outcomes. This workshop was held on Friday, 5th November, 2010 in Melbourne. The workshop involved a small group of invited participants and ESOP specialists (including several AEOA members) in a round table setting. Invited also to the workshop were Professor Andrew Pendleton from York University to discuss the UK situation, and Professor Joseph Blasi from Rutgers University to discuss the US situation.
The following presentations from the workshop are available:
1. Employee Share Ownership in Australia – theory, policy and practice – Assoc. Prof Ann O’Connell, Law School, University of Melbourne
2. Employee Ownership in the USA – Prof. Joseph Blasi, Rutgers University School of Management and Labour Relations, New Jersey, USA.
3. Employee Share Ownership in the U.K – Prof. Andrew Pendleton, Management School, University of York, UK.
The Law School will be producing one more report which will be published before Christmas this year. At the same time, an executive summary will be released to broad circulation which will provide more explanation on:
1. Employee ownership practices in Australia
2. The empirical evidence of the state of play in Australia.
3. An overview of UK and US practices
4. Where Australia fails to meet international initiatives
5. What should Australia do?
6. Policy options.
‘Shared Capitalism at Work’ Dinner
Professor Joseph Blasi from the School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University in New Jersey is a world authority on the relationship between employee ownership and corporate performance. He is co-author of two excellent books on the topic – “Shared Capitalism at Work” and “In the Company of Owners” – both of which are highly recommended by the AEOA.
Professor Blasi is visiting Australia for a very short period in early November, 2010 to deliver some lectures on how employee ownership increases business performance.
AEOA members have been invited to participate in one of the workshops which will be held at the University of Melbourne Law School on Friday 5 November from 10am to 4pm. Associate Professor Ann O’Connell of the University of Melbourne Law School reports:
“After three years, we are coming to the end of the ESOP research project “Employee share ownership plans: Current practice and regulatory reform” and we have decided to hold a workshop to discuss the project outcomes. The workshop will involve a small group of invited participants in a round table setting. We have invited Professor Andrew Pendleton from York University to discuss the UK situation and Professor Joseph Blasi from Rutgers University to discuss the US situation”.
Professor Blasi will also be in Sydney on Tuesday, 2nd November and the AEOA, in conjunction with the Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC) will be hosting a dinner for him at the Royal Exchange Club, Gresham Street in the CBD. Professor Blasi will be speaking about the ESOP findings described in his book ‘Shared Capitalism at Work’ and the ability of employee ownership to help turn around business fortunes. If you would like to attend this dinner, please contact Roshan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also attending the dinner will be Professor Blasi’s wife, colleagues of his from the Australian Business School, Accountants and Insolvency Practitioners the AEBC has been working with and members of the Turnaround Management Association.
Workplace Change Back on the Agenda to Boost Productivity: Employee Equity Participation and Workplace Change
An ESOP has the potential to benefit the workplace in a number of different ways.
1. A change in management-worker relations
By making it possible for employees to become shareholders, ESOPs require directors and management to be accountable to a wider range of owners. The traditional role of management – as ‘servants’ of the owners of the company – is changed. In an ESOP company, management is now also responsible to the employees. A different relationship is established, requiring management to become far more involved with those they manage. Similarly. employees have a new relationship with the company and each other. They are now both employees and owners. There is potential for far more in these two interests – employees who contribute to the success of the business stand to gain not only through job security and improved pay and conditions, but also through company dividends and investment growth.
2. Improvements in the quality of work life
Ina work environment which encourages the involvement of its employees in the activities of the business, confrontation can often be replaced by cooperation. Opportunities are created for important issues to be dealt with as matters of mutual concern to both management and employees – so communication can become more effective.
3. A Different view of the value of work
People spend around one quarter of their lives at work, so it is not surprising that many employees view their work in more than simply money terms. Both employees and managers are recognising that the value of a job must be viewed in terms of a ‘total package’. In addition to a ‘fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’, will the work be interesting, varied and satisfying and flexible in relation to family commitments? How secure is the job? What is the work environment like? Is morale good? Are there career prospects? And most important, is there recognition of a job well done?
4. Improvement in the quality and quantity of products
We are learning that workplaces that encourage employees to contribute to decisions about everyday work activities are usually more profitable and more successful than those which don’t. An atmosphere of genuine participation will encourage more open and honest communications about what works and doesn’t work on the ‘factory floor’. Employees will contribute ideas if the environment is one of encouragement and appreciation. The results are often evident to all, in ‘qualitative’ as well as ‘quantitative’ terms.
5. Security of employment
Employees who feel they are making a contribution to the ‘good health’ of their company may be less concerned about job security. Furthermore, they are likely to be quick to identify issues that may impact unfavourably upon business operations – even very sensitive issues can often be handled with less acrimony if an atmosphere of genuine cooperation exists.
6. Industrial growth
The results of surveys on Australian businesses which have ESOPs point to the fact the ESOP companies are successful and growing. In some cases, the ESOP itself can also make a direct contribution to growth by providing a low-cost source of finance for expansion.
7. Economic growth
Australian business seeks to create a strong economy which will continue to encourage investment and growth. For this to be possible, we must have a stable, committed and creative workforce. ESOPs, if managed properly, can contribute significantly to both the improved productivity and industrial harmony of Australian companies and help build a confident, internationally competitive business culture.
(From: “Understanding ESOPs” Education Pack, AEOA, 1995 )
ESOP based business succession taking off.
In terms of business exit, one of the most important issues facing business owners and their advisers is the equity / wealth extraction to ensure retirement planning goals can be met for the exiting owners. This issue is where many exit plans fall over due to incompatible timetables, simple lack of funding and inadequate structures to deal with the vagaries of ownership styles and structures within SMEs. There is a practical solution available with the use of Employee Share Ownership Plans ( ESOP’s ) as a structured approach for transferring ownership whilst facilitating the smooth exit of current owners. This approach is extremely popular in the United States, with nearly half of all ESOPs there being used by private firms to buy out an owner.
Read the full article “ESOPs for business succession planning” by Craig West of Succession Plus, including an interview with one company that has taken the ESOP path in a succession plan.
There is no need to let good companies close
No-one likes to see a good business close, especially when that closure is avoidable.
The Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC) is conducting a series of seminars across Sydney co-hosted by a panel of leading accountancy firms to explain the benefits for business of employee ownership, how it works and the conditions where it can be implemented successfully.
See “Keeping a Good Business in Business” for the locations of the seminars and their programs.
AEOA Seeks Employee Share Schemes Tax Review with Incoming Government
The ATO Tax Review of Employee Share Schemes was completed at the end of April, 2010 and the ATO made five recommendations. The Federal Government has already responded to various technical aspects of Employee Share Scheme Reforms accepting four of them and partly leaving a fifth one for consideration at a later date.
Prior to the Federal Election, AEOA President Ian Woods put to the ATO ESS Working Party and to the Office of the Assistant Federal Treasurer the following concept to address concerns arising from the need to sell ESS shares to pay tax at a time not acceptable to many employee shareholders – especially those working in new start companies.
In essence, the AEOA believes that the ATO, via public ruling, could stipulate circumstances in which an employee liable for tax under Div. 83A could defer payment of the tax amount until sale of the shares. The AEOA’s suggested approach would compensate the Government for the delay in receipt of tax revenue while enabling the employee to pay tax appropriately from the sale proceeds.
There is precedent for this approach in regard to the deferral of superannuation surcharge tax by the trustees of unfunded defined benefit (DB) superannuation plans. Treasury officials are aware that unfunded DB superannuation schemes did not actually have available, when the members superannuation surcharge tax fell due each financial year, any cash to pay the tax due because there was no cash with which the Trustees could pay the tax due. The surcharge tax liability imposed on members of unfunded DB superannuation schemes accrued annually in a Superannuation Surcharge Offset Account which was charged annual interest equivalent to the 10 year commonwealth bond rate and discharged in full when the superannuant received their superannuation benefit upon retirement.
The AEOA believes that establishment of ESS Offset Accounts is workable and would improve public acceptance and uptake of 83A schemes in general, ie: they would overcome the payment of tax levied on a discount in the price of shares not able to be sold at the taxing point. The availability of ESS Offset Accounts would also mean that employers and employees who participated in Div. 83A schemes would have taxation outcomes not significantly different to the CGT outcomes applicable to ESS interests that are acquired using a loan funded by the employer and/or an employee share trust.
In mid August, prior to when the Federal Election was called, the ATO advised that it would convene another conference to work through outstanding issues and an ESS Working Party conference is to be held late September. While the AEOA understands that the concept of ESS Offset Accounts could be dealt with by the ATO, it is more likely that the concept will need Ministerial support to secure Treasury buy in.
Employee Share Schemes (ESS) – Guide for Employers.
A new web-page has been put up by the Australian Tax Office to assist employers understand the specific rules for the taxation of employee share schemes which apply from 1st July, 2009 in accordance with the new laws that were passed late last year (2009).
The “ESS Guide for Employers” – which was developed in consultation with industry organisations (including the AEOA) – explains how the new laws apply to ESS interests provided at a discount under an employee share scheme.
Where ESS interests have not been granted at a discount, the employee share scheme rules do not apply. However, the benefits given in relation to these interests may be taxed under other provisions of the tax law, such as the capital gains tax regime. (See separate “Guide to Capital Gains Tax” link on the above web-page).
Keeping Jobs and Capital Local – The Ohio Employee Ownership Centre in Australia
Representatives from the Ohio Employee Ownership Centre in the USA will be visiting Australia in June at the invitation of the Australian Employee Buyout Centre. The Ohio Employee Ownership Centre (OEOC) is the most successful employee buyout centre in the world. Based at Kent State University it was established in the economic downturn of 1984 when the university, trade unions and the Catholic Church endeavoured to save a steel mill from closure. That experience lead to the formation of the OEOC which went on to establish 89 buyouts over the next twenty five years. Some 15% of these buyouts are from companies that were threatened with closure. The OEOC was established by the late Professor John Logue who played a key role in advising AEOA co-founder Anthony Jensen in planning for the establishment of the Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC).
The AEBC in association with the AEOA will be having a luncheon on Friday, 18th June for our guests from the OEOC – Bill McIntyre and Jim Anderson, who will be presenting at the luncheon on the topic “Keeping Jobs and Capital Local – the Ohio Employee Ownership Experience”. Please see the Luncheon Invitation for more details.
For an interview on ABC’s “Lateline” program with the OEOC, see “Organisations could source funds from within” .
For more information on employee buyouts, see the “Employee Buyouts” Discussion Forum.
Official Launch of the Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC)
The official launch of the Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC) will take place on Monday, 7th June, 2010 at Fairfield Council Chambers, 86 Avoca Road, Wakeley. The AEBC will be launched by The Hon Chris Bowen MP, the Federal Member for Prospect and Minister for Human Services and Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, under the banner “an inovative way to save companies and jobs”. For more on the launch and details on whom to contact, please see the “Invitation”.
Release of Board of Tax Review and Government Response on Technical Aspects of Employee Share Schemes Reforms.
The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry, has released the Board of Taxation’s review into elements of the taxation of employee share scheme arrangements.
The Assistant Treasurer asked the Board of Tax to examine how best to determine the market value of employee share scheme benefits, and whether shares and rights under an employee share scheme that are provided by start-up, research and development and speculative-type companies should be subject to a tax deferral arrangement, despite not being subject to a real risk of forfeiture.
The Board’s review makes five recommendations and includes a report by the Australian Government Actuary into the valuation of unlisted rights.
However, the Government has ruled out changes to its employee share scheme laws to assist start ups and small businesses, despite a Board of Taxation review finding shares and options are a crucial way for small firms to attract and retain talent.
You can access a copy of the report and see the Minister’s press release at “Release of Board of Taxation Review”.
UK Election Increases Interest in Employee Ownership
With a “Coalition Government” betwen the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats resulting from the UK elections, it will be interesting to follow whether the big promises on expanding employee ownership will be delivered.
The Conservative manifesto focused on the role of employee-led co-operatives and mutuals as a way of transferring public assets and revenue streams to public sector workers. The Party promised to “encourage” public sector employees to come together to bid to take over the services they run. Achieving commercial freedoms and financial incentives whilst balancing the interests of users and tax-payers will require much careful thought and planning.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto also focused on the role that employee trusts, co-operatives and mutuals could play in the public sector. The Party promised to sell off 49 per cent of Royal Mail and divide the other 51 per cent between an employee trust and government. In the National Health Service, the Liberal Democrats will allow front-line staff to establish employee trusts, giving them real involvement and a say over how their service is run.
The Labour manifesto promised a “step change” in the role of employee-owned companies in the economy, recognising that many business owners would like to see their companies in the hands of their employees when they retire. Labour would have reviewed the outstanding barriers to the formation of more employee-owned companies, and cited the John Lewis Partnership as a model.
For more on the role that employee ownership plays in the “Big Society” agenda now being adopted in the UK, see the “Building Big Society” statement. See also the key report on this matter from the Employee Ownership Association UK called “Innovation Included: Why Co-owned Businesses are Good for Public Services”.
See also the report “New Models of Public Service Ownership“, Office of Public Management, UK, July, 2010 which outlines the case for employee owned cooperatives operating public services.
UK Employee Ownership Association’s Election Manifesto: ‘Ownership Matters’
The UK Employee Ownership Association’s submission to the political Parties ahead of the May, 2010 General Election, ‘Ownership Matters’ explains the case for wider employee ownership and shows how Government can help encourage continued growth of this £25 billion sector of the UK economy.
See the report “Ownership Matters”
Trade Unions and Employee Ownership
On 14th April, 2010 a roundtable conference and seminar on employee ownership was held at Trades Hall in Sydney at the initiation of Unions NSW that was addressed by AEOA President, Ian Woods and Australian Employee Buyout Centre (AEBC) Project Manager, Anthony Jensen. The main topic was the role that employee buyouts may play in tackling job shedding and turning around companies where jobs are under threat, as well as what benefits employee ownership can provide in terms of employee participation and union tactics to improve workplaces and job satisfaction. The day was successfull in that it introduced several unions to a topic that they had not been considered previously as a priority for their attention in the current economic climate of company rationalisations and closures.
For more information, see the presentation by Anthony Jensen entitled “Unions and Employee Buyouts”
See the AEBC brochure that was distributed at the meeting “Securing the Future: Saving Jobs”
Health Reform and Employee Ownership: Why this is a key debate in the in the forthcoming UK Elections.
All three major political parties in the United Kingdom have endorsed the idea of converting the National Health Service (NHS), and possibly other social services the government provides, into employee and stakeholder-owned businesses along the lines of the John Lewis Partnership – an employee-owned chain of department stores, supermarkets, a travel and ticketing service, and a small manufacturing company which employs 67,000 people, all of whom own shares through a trust.
At John Lewis, employees elect a partnership council that can discuss anything and decides on non-business related issues. Employees also elect five representatives to the 12-person board of directors. In addition to ownership, there is a substantial annual bonus, a pension plan, and other benefits. The company has been widely praised by politicians, customers, and the media for exceptional customer service and business efficiency, leading to its current highly publicized role as a potential model for social services
That model is already being put into effect privately. The first in a chain of John Lewis-style private hospitals and clinics has recently been launched. Circle Health has plans to expand to 30 hospitals and 10,000 employees. Led by prominent London financier, Ali Parsa, Circle Health will be 49% owned by an employee trust. Parsa told The Guardian newspaper: “Employee ownership works. It was the model we used as partners at Goldman Sachs. Most law firms operate as partnerships, GPs are partnerships. Healthcare is a professional anomaly in not being a partnership. There’s no reason why we can’t run NHS hospitals and give control back to our staff.”
For a useful UK research report on this topic, see “NHS Mutual”. This report is a study into the scope for engaging and motivating health service staff using employee ownership and other social ownership models. The report, on which the UK Employee Ownership Association advised, concludes that employee ownership of the kind already pioneered by Central Surrey Health has a valuable role to play in the NHS but needs support from policy makers. The report can be viewed at: http://www.employeeownership.co.uk/publications.asp .
Launch of Social Business Australia
Social Business Australia (SBA) is a new organisation formed to help develop and grow social businesses in Australia. SBA exists to support and assist those commercial businesses which have social objectives at their core and diverse ownership structures. SBA was launched at Parliament House, Canberra on Monday, 15th March, 2010 with an Inaugural Lecture presented by Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Cooperative Alliance (www.ica.coop). Dame Pauline presented the ‘SBA Inaugural Lecture” on the topic “Investing in Alternative Economic Futures”.
The founders of SBA are a group of like-minded social businesses in Australia. The group includes representatives of the mutual and co-operatives sector, employee ownerships, collaborative enterprise development and social marketing, media and communications. The founding sponsor of SBA is Capricorn Society Ltd, based in Perth, WA. The AEOA supports this initiative and several members of the Management Committee attended the Launch.
You can see more on this this new initiative at www.socialbusiness.coop.
My Business: Selling shares to your employees
International research suggests that employee owned businesses grow faster and are more profitable than conventional firms. In the February, 2010 edition of My Business magazine (www.mybusiness.com.au), Stuart Frost, the co-founder of CAD Partners (http://www.cadpartners.biz/ ), recounts his experiences in structuring an employee share scheme in his business.
It provides valuable insights to other business owners looking to exit their business through a sell down to their staff.
As one of CAD Partners employees – Daniel Cadart – says: “Apart from dividends and capital growth, this creates a great sense of belonging to something. Whether it’s family, a tribe, a group or community – society is evolving and finding new ways to work together. It makes me feel part of this community. It provides motivation to invest yourself in the business.”
There are advisors who offer help to set up a share plan (see ESOP Consultants). Frost suggests ensuring you get a fixed price for setting up the unit trust and for the unit trust plan administration.
With thanks to My Business magazine (www.mybusiness.com.au) and the author, Stuart Frost for permission to publish this article.
See the full article Sellling Shares to Your Employees.
Seminars on Employee Share Schemes
During February, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is offering free seminars (duration: 2 hours) to employers on the legislative changes for reforms to income tests and employee share schemes.
Reforms to income tests:
What are reportable employer super contributions and personal deductible contributions?
How do the new income tests apply to salary sacrificing into super?
What contributions are not reportable employer super contributions?
Employee share schemes:
What are the upfront and deferred scheme rules?
What happens to schemes in place prior to 1 July 2009?
What do you and your employees need to know about these changes?
What are the reporting requirements?
Registration is available at:
For what the seminars will cover, see the “ATO ESS Seminar Slides”
For the results of the seminars as compiled into an information guide, see the ATO’s “ESS Guide for Employers”
Options in a Time Warp
In a late amendment to the employee share plan taxation provision of Division 83A ITAA97, which has retroactive application from 1 July 2009, the Government introduced the provisions of section 83A-340 ITAA 97 which apply to “indeterminate” rights exercised into shares to backdate the time of acquisition of a right to a share by an employee to be subject to the taxation provisions of either:
(a) Division 13A, where the original right was acquired prior to 1 July 2009: or
(b) Division 83A, where the original right was acquired from 1 July 2009.
While this may have some elements of retrospectivity in terms of the deemed timing of the taxable acquisition of the right to the share, the provisions actually assist companies providing so-called “indeterminate” rights to shares in providing more clarity and certainty to the taxation treatment of these rights for their employees.
An example of an “indeterminate” right is where an employee acquires a right to shares or cash at the behest of the employer.
This situation is quite common for companies not listed on a stock exchange who may wish to provide an internal market for shares and rights for their employees prior to listing on a recognised stock exchange.
See the full article on this topic – “Options in a Time Warp” – by Gary Fitton that was published in Thomson Weekly Tax Bulletin, 8th January, 2010.
From Colleagues to Owners
‘From Colleagues to Owners’ is an Employee Ownership Association UK paper on how and why companies make the transition to employee ownership. Based on ten case studies, the report explains what motivated a highly diverse mix of businesses to consider employee ownership as an employee buyout, a business succession or a start up. Sponsored by co-owned Child Base, whose chief executive writes the report’s foreword, ‘From Colleagues to Owners’ received a Parliamentary launch sponsored by co-ownership advisers the Baxi Partnership. Author: Andrew Bibby. Published: April 2009. you can access the full report at: http://www.employeeownership.co.uk/publications.asp .