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Employee Ownership Day is encouraging people to think about buying and running their business

The government has marked the first national Employee Ownership Day today with the publication of new guidance to make it easier for companies to become employee owned.

Employee Ownership Day is part of the government’s commitment to help boost the size of the sector, by ensuring employee ownership is more widely understood and easier to establish.

New help available will include guidance from BIS for staff who want to request a move to employee ownership; model documentation on a move to employee ownership by tax lawyers Pett, Franklin and Company; guidance from the Employee Ownership Association explaining the different models of employee ownership; and guidance from Co-operatives UK on co-operative principles.

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The government will also launch a consultation on providing two new tax reliefs to encourage employee ownership.

“The benefits of employee ownership are clear. Staff who have a stake are more motivated and are rewarded for thinking in the long term,” said deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

“That’s why from next April, the government has set aside £50m each year to give businesses and employees an incentive to adopt employee-owned models. We’ll be providing Capital Gains Tax relief for those who sell a controlling stake in a company to their staff.

“Giving hard-working people a real stake in their company is a hugely underused tool in unlocking growth. This straightforward new guidance will help firms of all sizes realise their potential, boosting staff motivation and laying the foundations for growth.”

Business secretary Vince Cable added: “As we rebuild the economy, there has never been a more important time to support different ways of running a business. The evidence is that clear that employee-owned businesses not only help us build a stronger economy, but boost the retention, innovation and motivation of their employees.”