Here at Somerlap, we hugely value our hardworking employees. We know our business wouldn’t be the place that it is without them. As such, we decided we wanted to demonstrate the trust and value we place in our employees by transitioning to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).
Read on to find out a bit more about what this means and why we did it.
What is an EOT?
An Employee Ownership Trust enables a company to sell all or part of its shares to a Trust to benefit employees. In essence, it’s a way for a company to transfer ownership to its employees with a Board of Trustees in place.
Why did Somerlap become an EOT?
An EOT is generally seen as a long-term plan to remain in business and remove the uncertainties that a trade sale would inevitably bring, whilst employees benefit from being more involved in the business plus the benefit of a tax-free profit share bonus. Somerlap share this view and that was part of the decision to transition to an EOT.
An EOT provides employees with a voice and a share in the success of the business. It offers numerous benefits to employees, making them feel empowered. Employees are encouraged to engage using their skill and knowledge, upholding the values and ethos of the business as the owners become less involved.
How long did it take to launch the scheme?
It took 8 months to complete and Somerlap transitioned to an EOT on 14 March 2023.
What process was involved? Did you need any assistance?
We received professional advice and guidance from Spencer West Solicitors, and PKF Francis Clark, our Accountants who are both experienced in supporting companies transition to Employee Ownership.
We also joined the Employee Ownership Association, where we received helpful information from companies who had already become EOTs.
Who sits on the Board of Trustees?
On the board we have one director, one employee, two owners (founders), and one independent professional.
What does this mean for employees of Somerlap, both now and in the future?
Somerlap employees are now employee owners, and have the opportunity to present their ideas about anything and everything Somerlap – including what we can do to help with individual roles within the business and helping to develop the business further. This includes new employees, who will become employee owners on completion of their probationary period.
It’s our hope that this focus and consideration will give employees a greater understanding about being a business owner and create an even happier place to work. This business will be a place where employees feel valued, motivated, and know that their views will be heard.