The appointment follows the Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement in January of a new Government drive to introduce the concept of employee ownership into the mainstream British economy.
Norman Lamb is leading the cross-Whitehall work to investigate how Government can support this growing business model, which has seen the number of employee owned companies grow by 25 per cent in two years, from 200 in 2009 to 250 in 2011.
Evidence suggests that employee-ownership models can make a real difference to staff engagement, which in turn generates innovation, increased productivity, lower absenteeism, better industrial relations and improved business performance.
Mr Nuttall, a partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse with extensive experience in this field, will work with Government to identify the barriers to employee ownership and help find the solutions to knock them down. He will make his final recommendations to Government in a report presented to Norman Lamb in the summer.
Norman Lamb said:
“I am delighted that Graeme has agreed to act as the Government’s adviser on employee share ownership. His knowledge and expertise in this area will be invaluable in supporting me in this important work.
“I look forward to receiving his advice on how we can make it easier for businesses to adopt employee share ownership models, which I believe have the potential to change corporate culture and stimulate a new era of responsible capitalism and sustainable economic growth.”
Graeme Nuttall said:
“This is a great opportunity to give employee ownership business models the prominence they deserve, and to do so on a lasting basis for the benefit of the British economy.”
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is now seeking views from employee owned businesses and other stakeholders, for discussion with Mr Nuttall, on:
* Specific regulatory barriers or other disincentives to employee ownership
* Whether more can be done to raise awareness of employee ownership as a business model
* Appropriate incentives to facilitate employee ownership
* The most efficient way of becoming employee-owned
Mr Nuttall’s role is advisory, part-time and unpaid and will initially run for three months.
Notes to editors:
1. Graeme Nuttall - biography
Graeme Nuttall is a partner at European law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse. He is dual qualified as a solicitor and chartered tax adviser and is head of the firm's tax practice and equity incentives group. Recognised as a leading expert on employee share plans with particular expertise in employee owned businesses, he has developed share ownership legislation both in the UK and overseas.
Graeme belonged to the HM Treasury Employee Ownership Advisory Group that helped create the HM Revenue and Customs approved share incentive plan and enterprise management incentives arrangement. He also drafted the Employee Share Schemes Bill, a successful Private Member’s Bill.
He is a long-standing adviser to the Employee Ownership Association, the voice of co-owned business in the UK and has taken a leading role in advising on the use of employee led mutuals to transform public services. Graeme is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, a member of the Share Plan Lawyers Group and a member of the ESOP Centre.
Graeme has contributed to various publications on employee ownership. He and others at Field Fisher Waterhouse contributed to How to become an employee owned mutual – an action checklist for the public sector (2011). He is also involved in producing the well known reference data, the UK Employee Ownership Index, which tracks the performance of UK quoted companies where employees hold a significant proportion of the equity.
Graeme has given seminars all over the world on employee ownership, including in South Africa, Vietnam, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia.
2. Interested parties can contribute to the discussion by contacting EmployeeOwnership@bis.gsi.gov.uk
3. For more information on employee ownership models: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/business-law/docs/g/11-1401-guide-mutual-ownership-models.pdf
4. Mr Nuttall will not provide advice on specific cases or take any executive decisions. This will allow him to continue working independently and advising clients on the existing law, subject to the usual conflict of interest criteria.
5. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.