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Employee-owned company accredited as ethical business



An employee-owned company has landed an accreditation as one of the UK’s most ethically-minded businesses.

Following an audit, North Berwick-based Jerba Campervans has joined some of the country’s most responsible organisations in being awarded the Good Business Charter (GBC).

To be awarded the accreditation, Jerba had to demonstrate how its ethos applied throughout its business, from living wage and a commitment to work-life balance, to its tax arrangements, supplier relationships and customer care.

The company’s founders become vocal advocates for employee ownership, having placed all of their shares into a trust in 2018 and witnessing the widespread positive impact of the move.

Simon Poole, co-founder of Jerba Campervans, which creates bespoke Volkswagen T6.1 Transporter conversions, said: “Our goal is to provide an ethical and sustainable business for our staff which they can be proud of.

“Meeting the criteria of GBC’s charter is another step in the right direction for us. It cements that what we are doing is worthwhile.

“Increasingly we’re seeing customers acknowledge things like our employee-ownership. They are becoming more and more value-driven and that can only be a good thing.”

Since handing ownership to its team, Jerba has seen an increase in productivity year-on-year. Like most businesses, it was affected by the national lockdown and was forced to place all of its staff members on furlough as its workshop doors closed.

However, while in early lockdown, Simon shared the business’s full financial breakdown, reassuring workers that their salaries could be covered for months to come.

Simon Fox, chairman of the GBC board, said: “The Good Business Charter brings together 10 standards, most of which already exist, but in separate places. We have brought them together to give a coherent overall position for businesses to aspire to.

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“We believe that the GBC has enormous potential to change business practice for good. We hope that because of its simplicity and cost effectiveness, it will quickly gain support.”

The GBC is formed of a variety of foundations and trustees within the Confederation of British Industry and the Trades Union Congress and was founded by Julian Richer, the founder of hi-fi and home cinema business Richer Sounds.

Its aim is to inspire businesses to change their behaviour and encourage a wider good business practice through 10 commitments.

Jerba Campervans is officially recognised by Volkswagen as a recognised body builder for its Transporter T6.1 model.



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