Promoting employee ownership in the workplace

Promoting employee ownership in the workplace

Register

the eaga Trust

The eaga Trust was set up 1999 for the purpose of promoting employee well-being, engagement and ownership in the workplace in the belief that when employees feel like partners in their business, they deliver better day to day results which in turn produce a profitable, sustainable and fulfilling business to the benefit of all.

Nowadays, the eaga Trust still holds true the intent set out in a Trust Deed and provides a wide range of benefits to its members.

This unique Trust, originally known as The eaga Partnership Trust or ePT, was formed in 1999 when North East based eaga Partnership Limited, was set up as an employee owned business by John Clough to purchase eaga Ltd, a non-profit distributing business.

Having witnessed the effects on employees of a shrinking and embattled coal industry in the 1980’s, John held the belief that there was a better way of providing meaningful and sustainable employment for people, or ‘partners’ as he preferred to see them. Through employee engagement and ownership in the workplace, he believed that people who ‘had a stake’ in their business would be more engaged, higher performing and ultimately successful and that they should share rewards from any such success.

After a period of several further years of successful growth eaga was well positioned for the up and coming ‘green economy’ but to realise its growth potential the company needed access to capital. To this end, in June 2007 the Company was admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange. However, unusually, a significant proportion of the shareholding, (c37%), was retained within the eaga Trust so that the principles of employee engagement and ownership could be retained, as set out in The Trust Deed.

The eaga Trust held this retained shareholding and continued to promote employee engagement and ownership as well providing a range of benefits to its membership of past, present and future ‘partners’ at eaga plc. In conjunction with the ‘The Partners Council’, the interests of Trust members at eaga plc. continued to be represented and promoted through close working with the Company Board on matters that made a difference to the engagement, happiness and well-being of the employees.

The Company, eaga plc. continued to thrive and become one of the UK’s leading providers of residential energy efficiency solutions with a bias towards the ‘green economy’ and sustainability with over 5400 people based throughout the UK, Ireland, Canada and India employed at its peak in 2008.

In April 2011, eaga plc. was acquired by Carillion plc. and became known as Carillion Energy Services or CES. Through the acquisition process, the eaga Trust’s shares in eaga plc were converted into shares in Carillion plc., but the Trust’s shareholding has not led to enhanced employee engagement or a sense of employee ownership in CES. The Trust has therefore over time reduced its shareholding in Carillion, and is pursuing other ways to foster employee engagement and ownership, as well as continuing to provide various benefits to its membership, who may in total number some 7000-8000 people, all of whom have been one-time partners of eaga partnership limited or eaga plc.