Growth and Infrastructure

Memorandum submitted by Magnus Campbell (GIB 62)

As Director of an Employee Owned business , I am writing with a concern on the forthcoming Growth and Infrastructure Bill.

The bill proposes a new employment status of ‘employee owner’. The idea, as I understand it, is for such workers to forfeit rights on redundancy and unfair dismissal in return for tax breaks on shares.

Our company, Marine Engineering Partnership, is an employee owned business – this means that the share capital of the business is held in trust for the benefit of all employees. The core purpose of the trust arrangement is to create an egalitarian and equitable working environment to attract and retain the very best engineering talent. This in turn provides us with the capability to provide consistent and reliable high quality services to our clients. Rather than diluting the rights of our staff, we look to enhance them as part of this philosophy. (Further details can be found at our company website www.mepship.com )

This is consistent with the approach of other employee owned businesses – John Lewis Partnership is an obvious example of a major business where employee ownership follows the same principles of enhancing employee rights.

I am very concerned at the potential damage that will be done to our business, and other employee owned organisations like us, if the perception of Employee Ownership arising from this bill is that it involves a dilution of workers’ rights. This is very much missing the point of what employee ownership is all about.

I would urge you to raise the above concern when this bill returns to the commons for the final debate.

December 2012

Prepared 10th December 2012