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Brexit – Employee Ownership can mitigate the risk

By March 30, 2016No Comments

As the threat of Britain leaving the EU comes closer and closer, we are sure at IPSA that many businesses trading with the UK are refocusing their efforts to ensure business stability should a ‘Brexit’ become a reality. While Government has a role to play in assisting this refocusing of effort, we believe that so too do the employees of those businesses most at risk. For many employees in these businesses, the company they work for is their main (and in some cases, only) source of income. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to ensure these businesses with strong trading links with the UK remain stable and secure.

It is unfortunate that this heightened threat comes at a time when the Irish economy is experiencing growth not seen in almost ten years and when there is a renewed sense of optimism in the air. On the back of this external threat there also lies the internal threat of increased pay demands. Everyone is entitled to their fair share and adequate remuneration, but in an era of increased global economic uncertainty and zero inflation, we agree that these demands could undermine competitiveness and hinder job creation.

However we at IPSA believe that there is another way to retain stability, increase employee engagement, and continue the upward growth trend. The way to achieve this is to offer employees something far more valuable; give employees an ownership stake in the business instead of wage increases. Employee Ownership provides businesses with a tool to tackle wage increase demands in a more realistic and affordable manner.

Giving employees a stake in the business instead of wage increases creates ‘buy-in’ from employees. By giving them ‘skin-in-the-game’ they have a vested interest in ensuring that the business grows, thrives and is profitable. A profitable growing business can potentially in the future provide wages increases, or bonuses, or an increased stake in the business, or a combination of all three.

Making your employees your business partners has been proven to be of benefit to all stakeholders, ensuring stability and growth. In uncertain times such as these, wouldn’t it be great to have some certainty? Employee ownership can provide just that.