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Worker Co-operative Code of Governance

In 2006, a group of experienced UK worker co-operators explained how to use the co-operative principles to create good co-operative businesses. Called ‘The Worker Co‑operative Code of Governance’, and published by Co‑operatives UK, the booklet sets out what anyone should expect, and should work together to achieve, as a member of a worker co-operative.

In 2012, we have updated this code, to help people create and defend decent jobs, with a culture of equality and respect at work, where people benefit fairly from their own labour and take collective control of their working lives.

This booklet was created by people who’ve been where you are now – or, maybe, where you’d like to be – and sums up what we think a worker co‑operative should look and feel like. It isn’t a detailed manual as there are plenty of people, and other places, where you can find dedicated advice and support. We hope you can make practical use of the insights contained here.

We also hope that that you will be inspired to create a change and to share your experiences with us. Worker co-operatives are radical, ethical and can be a force in favour of creating a world based on co-operation. Join us.

Yours in co-operation,
Alison Banton (Dulas), Bob Cannell (Suma), Richard Crook (EssentialTrading), Lyn Hope (Midshires Clothing), Ed Russell (Co-operative Web), Britta Werner (Unicorn Grocery), Siôn Whellens (Calverts)
(Worker Co-operative Council 2011/12)

You can download The Worker Code below, or you can fill in this online self assessment tool.

We are always looking for more resources provided by members for members, for example Radical Routes have created an excellent guide for starting a worker co-operative. If you would like to contribute your own resources (guides, template forms, polices & procedures) to help worker co-operatives achieve the ideals set out in The Worker Code please contact John Atherton.

Related Resources

Worker co-operative code international translations - Model rules for setting up a worker co-operative - A guide to carrying out a co-operative employee buyout

Start-up guide - A guide by radical routes to setting up a worker co-operative

Case studies - Examples of worker co-operatives