Oaklands is Employee Owned!
In November 2019, Oaklands became Employee-Owned. 100% of the business is owned and controlled by employees through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).
What does an Employee Ownership Trust do?
The Trust ensures that Oaklands is run for the benefit of all employees. The Government’s positive view of Employee Ownership enabled Phil (Oaklands founder) to sell Tax-Free to existing staff (we pay the price from trading profits) and we can also pay Tax-Free bonuses (subject to performance and affordability).
Our EOT currently has three trustees. Our members are:
- Phil Harrison, Oaklands Founder.
- Nick Bennett, Director
- Simon Speller, Partner at Hillier Hopkins Accountants who acts as an independent, professional trustee.
We will also be appointing a trustee from the operational staff.
Why an EOT?
Nick joined Oaklands (as a general ship-steerer) when Phil was selling the business to a third party. To cut a very long story very short, the sale didn’t go quite as planned and it took a while to hit the reset button. In the meantime, the company thrived and grew. A more typical management buyout had been mooted some years previously, but there had to be a way to reward all the workers and let Phil exit the company? Much research was followed by an initial meeting regarding Employee Ownership in October 2017! We used a company called Postlethwaites to hold our hand through the process. They are specialists in this area and exceptional!
The EOT took shape over the coming months and finally was signed off in November 2019. We were masters of our own destiny!
This page has been shamelessly adapted from a lovely post I saw on the website of Bluefruit Software (who became Employee-Owned at a similar time).