Public sector welcomes practical roadmap to employee ownership
03 March 2011
Four of the UK's foremost experts on employee ownership came
together today to launch a practical "how to guide" for public
sector organisations looking to become employee-led mutuals. The
guide was immediately welcomed by Cabinet Office Minister Francis
Maude, newly appointed chair of the Prime Minister’s Mutuals
Taskforce Professor Julian Le Grand, and public sector workers
currently spinning out.
Written by specialists at OPM, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP, the
Employee Ownership Association and Baxi Partnership, the guide,
"How to become an employee owned mutual - an action checklist
for the public sector", provides a road map for public sector
organisations. It covers the steps required for organisations
considering adopting a mutual ownership model, and how employees
can give their new enterprise the maximum chance of success.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said: "There
is a real enthusiasm and momentum gathering around mutuals from
public sector workers, who for so long have been able to see how
things could be done better, but have been held back by bureaucracy
and haven't been able to do anything about it. I'm really pleased
that the Employee Ownership Association has moved quickly to meet
the growing demand for more information.
"I know from visiting many of these organisations how innovative
and transformational they can be. We are absolutely committed to
supporting public sector workers to form their own employee-led
organisations and through our Mutuals Taskforce, Pathfinder
programme and Mutuals Support Programme, we are doing everything we
can to make sure they have the help they need."
Under the Government's "right to provide” plan, employee owned
mutuals will enable public sector employees to own and run the
services they provide. The model has already seen thousands of
health, local government and civil service staff involved in plans
for employee-led mutuals which will become independent operating
units delivering public services in their local areas, and
The guide was welcomed by several organisations currently in
transition to become employee led mutuals. Joanne Hay, Director of
Commissioning, Strategy and Performance at Royal Borough of
Kensington and Chelsea said: "It is really useful. I have already
followed up some of the references and I know lots of people will
find this helpful- especially as it is concise and easy to
understand." Head of the Department of Innovation at the NHS, Brian
Winn agreed: "It's superb - an invaluable document for
organisations such as us at an early stage in the process."
EOA executive director Patrick Burns said: "Experience shows
that employee owned mutuals need expert help and support from the
outset to be successful and sustainable public service providers.
This guide offers would-be mutuals the combined expertise of four
bodies with unparalleled expertise in employee ownership."
Graeme Nuttall, employee ownership specialist and partner at law
firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, said: "Employee ownership is a
versatile business model that has succeeded in a range of sectors
and businesses, including the NHS. This guide helps the broader
public sector build on these successes."
Hilary Thompson, OPM's chief exec, said: "Drawing on wide
knowledge and experience, our aim is to help interested public
services to navigate the transition and move to sustainable
Baxi Partnership Chief Executive, Peter Stocks said: "There are
impossibly tough choices being made right now that will dictate the
future of frontline public services for a generation. This guide
puts vital practical insight straight into the hands of public
service managers to ensure that every new mutual spin out stands a
real chance of success."
Last month Francis Maude MP announced the creation of a
Government Mutual Taskforce, chaired by Professor Julian Le Grand,
to promote reform and support employee owned mutuals across the UK.
View a copy of "How to become an employee owned
mutual - an action checklist for the public sector".
For further press information, please
Ryalls, PR Executive, Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP on +44 (0)20
Notes to editors
The Baxi Partnership strives to be a
beacon for mutual and employee ownership. We have a unique ten year
track record in offering funding and specialist support to help
grow strong, successful employee-led organisations. Our first-hand
experience in supporting organisations in both the public and
private sectors has shown time and again that giving employees a
significant stake in the enterprise they work for, and real
participation in how that enterprise is run, produces superior
performance and productivity. Our employees have worked with and
for the best performing employee owned organisations in the UK. We
have supported over 30 transitions, offer a full range of training
and development to transform your employee-led culture, and are
mentors to the Government’s public sector mutuals programme.
Recognised by policy makers as the voice
of employee owned business, the Employee Ownership Association is a
network of over a hundred companies which speaks for a sector of
the economy worth over £30 billion annually. With no political ties
and governed by its member companies, the Association exists to
represent its members and promote employee ownership. The
Association’s members include the John Lewis Partnership, alongside
public service providers such as Central Surrey Health, Sunderland
Home Care Associates, Circle, City Health Care Partnership,
Highland Home Carers, Stewartry and A4e. The Association offers a
range of expert services to help public sector organisations become
employee owned mutuals.
Field Fisher Waterhouse
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP is a full
service European law firm with offices in Brussels, Düsseldorf,
Hamburg, Paris London, Manchester and Munich and an exclusive
relationship with Italian firm, La Scala. The firm has over 140
partners, 240 other lawyers and nearly 300 support staff. It
assists a wide range of international clients, advising across the
full range of legal issues. Its Corporate team has experience in
transformational projects involving employee ownership, social
enterprise and mutual structures, including the ground-breaking
transition of the healthcare provider arm of NHS Hull into City
Health Care Partnership CIC, the creation of Central Surrey Health
Limited and other recent projects.
Office for Public Management
Founded in 1989 as a not-for-profit
company, OPM achieved full employee-ownership in 2006. OPM works to
achieve improved social results. Its members care about people and
public services, work within a strong ethical framework and have
wide experience across central government, health, local services
and the voluntary and community sector. With deep knowledge of new
models for public services and a long track record of supporting
organisations and commissioners to achieve change and improvement,
OPM is working with public services on how to approach transitions
and build successful mutuals, support the development of
enterprising leadership and evaluate the impact achieved.