May 2, 2019

Employee Owned Company

On the 25th January 2018 Jerba Campervans became a 100% employee owned company. Every employee is now a beneficiary of the business and will benefit from the annual sharing of company profits. Just like working for the John Lewis Partnership!

The employment ownership model has a proven track record in demonstrating long term business growth and employees will have a real role in determining the future development of the business. With a stable and committed workforce Jerba Campervans will be able to continue to focus on customer satisfaction and avoid the distraction of business takeovers, mergers and sales that are now becoming increasingly common in the UK campervan and motorhome manufacturing market.

For every campervan where Jerba Campervans supply the brand new van, your DVLA ownership document (V5C/log book) will be completed correctly for you by us, however, if you have supplied us with your own van for a conversion then it is your responsibility, as the owner of the vehicle, to notify the DVLA that it has been converted from a van into a camper

Jerba Campervans was founded in January 2006 by Simon Poole and Cath Brookes and as the two sole shareholders of the company Simon and Cath have now transferred all their shares into a newly formed Employee Owners Trust.

As the business has developed and grown over the last 12 years Simon and Cath began to look at the options for securing the long term future of the Jerba Campervans and moving the business into the status of an employee owned company seemed like a natural step to take.

“Moving into employee ownership will ensure that Jerba Campervans can remain committed to being focused on our customers, to investing in all our employees and to retaining a focus on innovation. It will protect the jobs that have been built up over the past 12 years and ensure all employees have true ownership of the work they carry out” – Simon Poole, Managing Director, Jerba Campervans

Research has shown that the success of employee owned companies is due to some key areas – including increased employee engagement, commitment and staff retention, reduced absenteeism and a greater drive for innovation and achieving business goals.

“Having read about other companies in different industries I believe that employees and businesses do benefit from being employee owned and it is definitely a sustainable business model for growth” – Vince McInally, Schedule Supervisor, Jerba Campervans

Employee owned companies have highly professional management structures – the key difference being that managers are more accountable to their colleagues and co-owners than they would be in a company owned by external shareholders. As Directors of Jerba Campervans Ltd, Simon and Cath now report directly to the new Employee Owned Trust – the Trust board is made up of one employee who has been elected by fellow employees, one employee appointed by Simon and Cath and an outside independent accountant.

Employee ownership is an excellent business model which benefits everyone. Simon and Cath can continue with their day to day roles in the business for as long as needed, with the knowledge that the future of Jerba Campervans is secure, while employees are given a stake in the business and a say in how it is run. Not only do we envisage this driving job satisfaction, productivity and innovation, but it will also ensure that our unique ethos is preserved.

“We will continue to give our absolute and in return we will gain financial security not only for ourselves but everybody else in the business. This will encourage people to speak up and voice ideas which will ensure the business never becomes stagnant and will continue to prosper” – David Miller, Customer Support Manager, Jerba Campervans

Protecting jobs was an extremely important factor in the decision. Moving into employee ownership gives job certainty to everyone who works here and enables them to have proper control of their future. This sense of security and optimism can be seen in employee opinions of the future at Jerba Campervans – all of us here are excited to see what

It’s a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are classified correctly on their V5C form. When converting a van into a camper the DVLA will reclassify the campervan conversion into the “motor caravan” category.

The DVLA use the following criteria to judge whether a campervan conversion meets their requirements to be reclassified as a motor caravan;

  • A door that provides access to the living accommodation
  • A bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
  • A water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
  • A seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle. The table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
  • A permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
  • A permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
  • At least one window on the side of the accommodation

Once you have your completed campervan conversion back in your possession all you need to do is to send your V5C form to the DVLA (retain part 10) and include a covering letter explaining the conversion work that has been undertaken and that you would like the Body Type of the van to have a vehicle classification change to be reclassified as a Motor Caravan.

Include around 10 photos showing all the parts of the camper conversion that meet the above list of requirements – it’s important to ensure that you include at least one photo that shows the DVLA the vehicle number plate.

Once you have your new V5C form back then we would recommend that you then contact your insurer to check whether they require any written confirmation.

If the DVLA have any queries regarding the vehicle classification change then they will contact you directly, but if you don’t hear from them then expect a new revised V5C form to arrive in the post in 3 or 4 weeks’ time.

Here are the main points that we took away from the report:

It found that EO triggered fundamental enhancements to companies’ productivity, resilience and decision-making. But the advantages reach well beyond the confines of the businesses themselves, creating a virtuous circle for local, regional and national economies as more firms adopt the model.

EO offers a meaningful response to our many fundamental economic challenges and does so by starting with a focus on the value and experience of the individual at work. It builds outwards from that nucleus to shepherd the creation of dynamic, successful firms that, together, drive a robust – and genuinely inclusive – national economy.

EO encourages employees to work smarter and deepen their contribution to their organisations as they think and act like owners. By securing higher employee engagement, EO brings workers together in a joint effort to innovate to both improve the efficiency of businesses and to find solutions for difficulties that a company may be experiencing.

Evidence shows that the extra empowerment can give EOB staff significant wellbeing benefits – their tangible role in decision-making and strong networks of interpersonal trust bringing greater job satisfaction and emotional rewards.

EO is a powerful employee motivator. The evidence from the Inquiry panel is clear that EO is highly likely to encourage staff to:

  • show greater motivation
  • act on their own initiative
  • work collectively to improve the fortunes of the firm as a whole

The Inquiry noted that the transition to employee ownership is associated with rapid improvement in productivity, often driven by employees taking initiative, and implementing changes in work practices that reduce waste and improve efficiency.

EO roots jobs regionally, which helps local communities. One characteristic of EOBs that shone through the evidence presented to the Inquiry is that they regard community engagement and supporting those communities as part of their identities.

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