With today being UK Employee Ownership Day, the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) has released a report detailing the economic impact these companies have in the UK.

Put together by Capital Strategies, the performance of the best employee-owned businesses has been detailed in The Employee Ownership Top 50.

An employee-owned business is one where all employees have both a financial stake in the company and a voice in how it is run and operated.

The most famous example of this in the UK is John Lewis, who unsurprisingly topped the list with a yearly revenue of £8.5bn and 81,900 employees.

All in all, the top 50 employee-owned businesses make £20.5bn worth of sales each year while employing 151,000 people. They’ve seen  a year-on-year increase in sales of 4.6%, while their year-on-year operating profits have risen by 25.5%.

They’ve also seen their employee numbers rise, with the top 50 seeing their staff numbers increase by 3.3% year-on-year. Productivity has also gone up by 4.5%, while 76% of them have no net debt.

The EOA Chief Executive, Iain Hasdell, said: “Employee ownership contributes some £30bn to UK GDP each year and is a growing economic force. It is fitting that on UK Employee Ownership Day we are able to point, via the Top 50 data, to the higher productivity, profitability and employment levels of employee owned firms.

“The statistics we have published today provide further evidence that employee owned businesses outperform those that are externally owned. With 4.5% year on year productivity increases and 25% annual increases in profits employee owned businesses really are at the forefront of driving economic growth in the UK.”

Image from Seattle Municipal Archives.