On 1 January 2023, the Estates side of our business, which includes Sewell Investments, Shared Agenda, Community Ventures, Parallel, Sewell Construction, Illingworth & Gregory and Sewell Facilities Management, became part employee-owned. Our majority shareholder, Paul Sewell, moved 25% of the company’s shares into an employee ownership trust, meaning our people are now Co-Owners in the business, giving them a greater say in how the business is run and the potential to share in any company profits.

What is employee ownership?

Employee ownership is not new. One of the most well-known UK examples is the John Lewis Partnership, which was founded in 1929. The employee ownership sector has more than doubled in the past three years, with over 1,000 more employee-owned businesses currently operating in the UK. That means there are over 200,000 employee owners nationwide, a number that is rising by the day.

Employee ownership means that the people working in the business, have a stake in the business. For us, that’s 25% of our Estates ownership, making our people Co-Owners in our business.

jobs at sewell group
employees have a greater say

Culture and engagement

But it’s not just about shares, it’s also about culture and engagement. In employee-owned businesses, employees have a greater say in how the business is run.

This can be done in different ways, such as having:

  • an Employee Council, or other consultation group
  • a Charter, defining the company’s values and its relationship with employees
  • employee representatives on the Trust Board, with the same responsibilities as our other Trustee Directors
Being a Sewell Estates Co-Owner

What does it mean for our people?

After passing 6-months service with a Sewell Estates business, our people become Co-Owners, and can share in the rewards of doing so. What those rewards look like is determined by our Co-Owner Council and Trust Board, which represent the views of all our colleagues from across the different businesses.

Our Trustee Board is chaired by Deb Oxley, who acts as an independent chair to help steer the Trust to make decisions that are in the best interests of the trustees – our people. The management of the business remains unchanged, with the same senior leadership team in place to manage the day-to-day running of the business.

"I have always believed in employee ownership – that employees make or break a company and should have a greater stake than just salary and bonus can provide. They should feed into the strategic concept of a company, its sustainability and overall value"

Dr Paul Sewell OBE Chair of Sewell Group

Hear from Paul

Why co-ownership is right for Sewell Group

Dr Paul Sewell OBE tells us why he believes that co-ownership is the right thing for Sewell Group, its people and the local economy.

Business as usual

What does it mean for our customers?

For our customers, it’s business as usual – our senior leadership team will still manage the day-to-day running of the business, but now that our people have a 25% stake, they’ll be even more engaged and committed to the wider success. When people deal with Sewell Estates, they know they’re getting a business that’s caring, capable and co-owned.

Employee-owned businesses achieve higher productivity and greater levels of innovation and are more resilient to economic turbulence. They also have more engaged, more fulfilled and less stressed workforces.

Evidence from the Employee Ownership Association (EOA)

Increasing the current level
of employee ownership in
the UK will deliver greater economic impact for individuals, businesses and regional economies.

Want to join our team?

If you’d like to join our company and become a part-owner in Sewell Group, take a look at our current vacancies.