Remploy Employment Services was the Government’s national provider of support into employment for disabled people when they approached us in 2011 about spinning out into an employee owned social business. Separate from the factories side of Remploy, Employment Services was a circa £45m service, with over 830 employees, operating a network of over 60 local branches – who by 2015 had secured sustainable employment for roughly 100,000 disabled people. With little precedent, and an initially cautious commissioner (Department for Work and Pensions), Remploy used our insight, specialist experience and counsel to help shape a benefits case for their preferred approach and win permission to go down this route.
After several false starts, in March 2014 DWP Ministers gave the green light. From that point we supported Remploy through the whole commercial exit process – from market analysis and soft market testing, to the development of their future business and transition plans, through navigating the procurement process to find a joint venture partner whilst securing commitments to meaningful employee ownership and protections for their core social mission. In April 2015, with the support of employees and trade unions, Remploy successfully entered a ‘mutual joint venture’ with a commercial partner (MAXMIMUS Inc), creating a circa £50m social business with its mission enshrined in its Articles and employees holding a 30% stake.
“We simply could not have made this happen without Baxendale’s invaluable and highly specialist support – they’ve been brilliant.” – Beth Carruthers, Chief Executive