Why is ERA a CIC?
During planning stages, choosing what form a company will take is an important decision to make; the difference between charities, CICs and limited companies can determine everything from tax liabilities to funding opportunities and marketplace viability. So, in answering the question “Why is ERA a CIC?” a key question to ask first is: “What is a CIC?”
CIC stands for Community Interest Company, which is a term used to describe non-charitable organisations that exist to benefit the community, whereas typical limited companies serve to provide profit for shareholders. (It’s important to note that CIC are also limited companies, but they tend to be ‘limited by guarantee’ rather than by shares, meaning the company is separate and distinct from its guarantors and the personal finances of the guarantors are protected.)
In this sense, a CIC tends to exist in a region somewhere between typical charitable organisations and typical limited companies. Unlike charities CICs can turn a profit (or surplus), but unlike limited companies they must declare how the surplus will be used to benefit the community rather than to simply pay dividends.
Now, with the brief explanation of CICs out of the way, we come to the question: Why is ERA a CIC?
ERA Services exists to provide employment based benefits to businesses and employees while supporting the wider community of workers who may have been affected by poor practice. We want to highlight the employment standards heroes in all industries, and to encourage and promote the best employment practices in every workplace. To remain completely impartial in our process we needed to ensure that we did not have the opportunity to be driven or motivated by profit gain – hence our decision to become a C.I.C. We also wanted to remain accessible to businesses of all size and turnover in the UK, removing the necessity for profit means we are able to keep our assessment process cost-effective enough to benefit the majority of UK employers.
As mentioned, the classification CIC means that we are dedicated to community wellbeing – but how do we achieve this? Well, there are a couple of ways. Firstly, any profits earned by ERA Services C.I.C. are donated to charitable causes in the employment sector. One such recipient is the Tempra Foundation, an educational platform working with the general public to help them understand their employment rights and entitlements. Through supporting these charitable organisations it is our ambition to reduce exploitation, increase public education surrounding employment law, make advice and guidance more accessible to minority groups and those facing language barriers and to publicise a resource and network bank for anyone seeking support.
Another area of UK employment that is sorely in need of support and structure is the gig-economy. The UK temporary/agency workforce is substantial, and yet has no accredited certification service to uphold employment rights within. We want to change that, by encouraging integrity and accountability in the contractor/agency worker industry to create a more positive professional community that works for everyone.
Talk to our team today about the benefits an ERA Services certification may hold for your organisation and employee base.