Source: Employee Ownership Association
The business model developed by Sunderland Home Care Associates (SHCA) is based on 'involving people, valuing people', according to its founding director, Margaret Elliott. SHCA was formed in 1994 as a co-op of 20 people providing home care to elderly and disabled people in and around Sunderland. SHCA now employs 223 staff, with a turnover of around £2 million, and operates out of an office in Sunderland and, more recently, one in South Tyneside. The model is now being replicated in other cities in the north of England through an umbrella company, Care and Share Associates.
A decision was taken to convert from a co-op into an employee owned company in 1998 for tax and philosophical reasons. Setting up an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT), supported by an Approved Profit Share Scheme, was at the time a tax efficient way of passing shares to employees. Margaret Elliott also felt that employee ownership would give employees a real, growing stake in the company, rather than just holding a £1 share in the co-op. 'Staff now have the opportunity to build up a stake over time, increasing their commitment and helping to raise staff retention and the quality of service we provide'.
Publication Date: 2009-01-01