John Lewis Partnership chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield

John Lewis Partnership chairman, Sir Charlie Mayfield

John Lewis Partnership is today hosting the inaugural Inspire EO (employee ownership) conference, aimed at providing an insight into the benefits of giving private and public sector employees a stake in their business.

Employee ownership has been shown to produce fast employment and sales growth; lead to higher productivity and profitability; and give businesses greater resilience through times of economic difficulty.

A series of tax advantages came into force in October, making employee ownership even more attractive to businesses.

Today’s Inspire EO conference in Solihull, supported by the Employee Ownership Association, KPMG, Nationwide and CH2M HILL, is being attended by approximately 350 delegates from new and existing businesses of all sizes, Co-operative Development Scotland and other public bodies.

Speakers include Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, chief executives of leading employee owned businesses, senior politicians, legal and financial advisors.

Inspire EO picSpeaking before the event, he said: “There has never been a better time for companies to convert to employee ownership. With many more businesses making the change, I believe it is a model whose time has come and I’m delighted so many businesses are attending the inaugural Inspire EO event.”

Iain Hasdell, chief executive of the Employee Ownership Association, added: “In 2014 productivity in employee owned businesses grew by 4.5% when it remained flat in the rest of the economy, and profitability in businesses owned by their employees rose by 25%.

“Employee owners across the UK are laying the foundation stones for a new economy.”