April 10, 2024
Employee ownership has a role to play in business succession – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that employee ownership offers family businesses a solution to succession challenges.

Responding to a Dublin City University-Allied Irish Bank study on business succession, the Fingal TD said there is no reason why employee ownership cannot offer a solution to succession crises.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Family businesses are of significant economic importance, and as a Dublin City University-Allied Irish Bank study on business succession outlines, they make up two thirds of all companies and employ close to one million people.

“These firms are the bedrock of the SME community in urban and rural Ireland.

“The structure of family businesses offers significant strengths; however, difficulties can sometimes emerge where it comes to succession.

“Succession crises can emerge where there is no one available to take over the family business.

“While the DCU/AIB study indicates that such crises are not as acute in Ireland as elsewhere, there is no doubt that employee ownership can offer a solution where succession crises do arise.

“Across Europe, employee-owned businesses/worker cooperatives play a significant role in member-state economies and offer a solution to succession crises in family businesses.

“Indeed, employee-owned businesses have been found to be more productive, more resilient and provide greater benefits to their workers, communities and societies compared to traditional businesses.

“It is important that the government expediate reform of the co-operative sector through the delivery of the ‘Co-operative Societies Bill 2022’ inclusive of the recommendations of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade, Employment.

“Plans to update existing legislation are in the pipeline, and it is important that the updating of legislation relies on best practice as established in other countries such as Scotland, France, Spain, and Italy.

“Modernisation of this legislation offers solutions to family businesses where they face a succession crisis.”

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