The UK government has unveiled a FTSE index to encourage investment in successful employee-owned companies.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said the index will enable investors to easily identify the 69 UK public companies listed on the London Stock Exchange that have at least 3% of their issued share capital held by, or for the benefit of, employees other than main board directors.

"As we build a stronger economy, there has never been a more important time to promote successful ways of running a business," Swinson added.

"Evidence shows that businesses that adopt the employee ownership model can be more profitable, create more jobs and are more resilient to economic shocks."

In addition, Graeme Nuttall, the author of the Nuttall Review into employee ownership, announced a new "health check" to monitor ongoing progress by government and the employee ownership sector. The aim is to make employee ownership a mainstream part of the UK economy.

The "health check" includes a series of questions for government and others to periodically answer in order to monitor progress.

"One year on from the government's response to the Nuttall Review, it is right to say that much has been achieved," Nuttall said.

"However, the bar has now been raised and there is more to do if we are all to succeed in making this the decade of employee ownership."

The announcement follows Nuttall's head-to-head interview with IBTimes UK in October.

The dual qualified solicitor and chartered tax adviser spoke about the government's "shares for rights" scheme and the floatation of Royal Mail, amongst other things.