Somerlap Pallets proudly transition to Employee Ownership Trust

All the team at Somerlap stood in the courtyard in front of a lorry.

At Somerlap Pallets, we hugely appreciate our valued employees. Our business wouldn’t be the fantastic place that it is without them. In light of this, we decided to show how much we appreciate our staff by transitioning to an an Employee Ownership Trust scheme (EOT).

Read on to find out what this is and why we wanted to do 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.

EO logo

Why did Somerlap Pallets 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 become an EOT?

It took 8 months to complete and Somerlap transitioned to an EOT on 14 March 2023.

What was the process and 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 our board we have one employee, one director,  two owners (founders), and one independent professional.

What does this mean for employees of Somerlap Pallets, 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.

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