Staff given shares in firm as owner targets ‘ideal’ employee ownership solution

New employee trustees Craig Hutcheson (left) and Garrie Glasgow (right) with director Stefan Huber (centre)

TWELVE staff members have been given a stake in Sustainable Homes Scotland’s business.

The firm, which trades under name Paul Heat Recovery Scotland, specialises in the supply, design, installation and commissioning of high quality MVHR systems (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery).

Director, Stefan Huber, founded the firm in 2007. The trading name originates from a close relationship with the German company, Paul Wärmerückgewinnung, which pioneered passivhaus MVHR systems.

Stefan Huber said, “Over the years we’ve worked extremely hard to grow the business and to be at the forefront of domestic ventilation and MVHR in Scotland, making our mark on the industry through best practice methods, materials, installation, service and training. Our non-compromise approach has taken us in a different direction than many of our competitors, but we have focused on building a highly skilled, dedicated team and providing the best service possible.

“I am proud of my team, their dedication, hard work and loyalty. I wanted to reward them whilst opening up a door for myself to concentrate more on charitable work in Perth, which I have been doing for the last few years in my leisure time. My team has basically been working as if it was their own business anyway, so it was only natural to take this course.

“Employee ownership is the ideal solution for us; it fits well with our ethos and allows me to pass ownership and responsibilities to my hard working team. We already have an open and inclusive culture, so employee ownership allows us to keep operating as normal and ensures the protection of the company we’ve worked hard to build together.”

An employee ownership trust has been formed and holds 100% of the shares on behalf of the employees. The process was managed by Ownership Associates with legal services by Anderson Strathern and accountancy services by Donohue & Co. As part of the new structure, two employees have been promoted to directors and two have been made employee trustees.

With the firm’s main focus being on heat recovery ventilation, which hygienically provides fresh air inside homes and smaller commercial premises without the re-circulation of air, business has soared for the firm with sufficient ventilation now seen as a key driver in combatting Covid.

Stefan said, “Whilst the business has not been negatively affected by the pandemic, the news has helped to lift the spirits of the team in the current climate. The staff are very excited about becoming owners of the company and have reacted very positively to the news.  It has increased morale and ensures everyone shares both the responsibility of running the company but also the success and rewards too. Moving into employee ownership gives the opportunity for continued job security for all staff and enables them to have collective control of their future.”