Lush reflects on 5 years of Employee ownership, launching across North America…

#EmployeeOwnershipDay #EODay #GrowEO

For 5 years, Lush has been partly employee owned after its Shareholders gifted 10% of the company shares into an Employee Benefit Trust. Along with the other Shareholders of the business, its 12,000+ employees across 24 countries that make up the Lush Group, now own a proportion of the business through the Lush Employee Benefit Trust (lovingly referred to as ‘The Lush EBT’). 

From the very beginning of employment through to the end, an employee of a Lush Group country is a beneficiary of the Lush EBT which was established to protect Lush’s legacy by protecting the independent ownership of the company, enshining Lush’s ethics and recognising every colleague’s contribution.

The Lush EBT is supported by staff-elected representatives that exist in every Lush shop, manufacturing room and office across all of these markets facilitating two way communication and ensuring every person working for Lush has a voice in protecting these things with a channel to share ideas and suggestions with the company. 

In late 2021, the Lush Group acquired its North American partner. On the 9th of June, the firm’s single largest market finalised company-wide elections to complete the introduction of the Lush Employee Benefit Trust across North America.  All employees of Lush North America now join their global colleagues as beneficiaries of the Lush Employee Benefit Trust and experience the same benefits of Lush’s employee ownership model, expanding its EBT network of elected representatives to over 800 across Global markets.

“I always feel on the edge of the EBT because it is something that is set up by our staff for our staff, which is lovely and that is where the benefit has to be.  

As Shareholders, our early discussions were about the security of the business and protecting our ethos and this has to be the most important thing.  We have to question – ‘who do we want to entrust with the future of our business’ and it’s our staff.  We’ve got the EBT to a position now where our staff are able to have a call on things which has shown to be very appropriate over recent years.

It exists to provide a sense of ownership so when our staff get out of bed in the morning, they know who they are working for and if there is something they’re not happy about, they can make a difference.”
– Mo Constantine, Shareholder, Company Appointed EBT Trustee

Mo Constantine

Employee Owned for 5 Years

Why Lush chose Employee Ownership:

Employee Ownership is something that Lush had been exploring for over 15 years before becoming partly employee owned.

The company states the purpose of having an employee ownership scheme is to:

  • Enshrine our ethics
  • Ensure the independent ownership of the business
  • Maintain the bonus culture
  • Promote two way inclusive communication to share knowledge & give every Lush Colleague a voice

The benefits to the company:

  • Lush Colleagues will always own a stake in the business and have a say on any future change of control. No one will be able to buy the company at the highest price.
  • Ensuring the company is independent and can behave in the way it wants to behave.
  • Lush has a structure of People Representation throughout the business which means having representatives in place to pass messages to every staff member, helping to get messages to shop and factory floors and providing a channel for our colleagues, no matter where they work in the business, to ask questions and share ideas directly with the business to help positively influence the future.
  • Everyone who works for Lush helps to uphold its Ethical Charter. All of the beneficiaries of the Lush EBT can have an active role in holding the company accountable to the Ethical standards they commit to in the Charter.
  • All Lush Colleagues on a permanent contract are guaranteed access to a bonus scheme to ensure reward is shared when the company is performing well. 
  • The core principles of the Lush Ethical Charter cannot be compromised or degraded without consultation with its beneficiaries and Trustees.

There is this horrible repugnant idea that businesses can be sold along with its staff. Many of our staff have been with us for years – so their life’s work is sold with the business.

Karl Bygrave – Director at Lush

Notes to editors

In 2020, the Lush EBT Trustees announced that Helen Moreton would join the Lush EBT Trustee team as our Independent Trustee. Along with her 18 years of experience in retail employee ownership via the John Lewis Partnership, a company also recognised for its Employee ownership scheme.  

For further information, or for interview requests please email [email protected]

Further reading

Lush Employee Benefit Trust

Audio player image