after day, all news on the web about employee share ownership
May 2021 - A
disinformation campaign in France
ever-increasing wave of employee buyouts has
been surging around the world in recent months.
It is a result of the pandemic. In the wake
of the crisis, many SME owners now have a
different outlook on life and want to pass
on their businesses.
At present, one SME is being handed over to
its employees every day in Great Britain,
which equates to 85 people on average. One
small or medium-sized enterprise every day.
The employees become majority owners of the
company, usually even holding 100% of the
shares, as is the case in the SCOP, the workers'
cooperatives in France.
This is thanks to the ESOP plan and its British
variant, the EOT (Employee Ownership Trust).
These are completely different from the employee
share purchase plans as we know in large companies
in Paris. Employees do not have to invest
their own savings. Moreover, the latter would
not be able to buy their company.
Thus, in the ESOP model, employees do not
assume the financial risk personally.
In several countries, the cooperative movement
is among the spearheads of ESOPs in SMEs.
The same goes for the trade union movement.
For example, Wales with the Wales Co-operative
Centre and Scotland with the agency Co-operative
In contrast, France currently offers a striking
picture. Indeed, the ESOP gained a foothold
in France through a campaign of misinformation
organised through the press and political
This campaign is led by the FAS, an organisation
that groups a dozen active associations of
employee shareholders into large groups in
May 2021 - New
legislation in Germany
new legislation for employee share ownership
was passed by the Bundestag on 22 April. It
represents significant progress. The tax incentives
are multiplied by four, i.e. EUR 1,440 per
year and per person. We can expect to see
many more companies turning to employee ownership,
both large ones as well as SMEs and startups.
Political decision-making has suddenly accelerated
in Germany. However, we remain far removed
from the demands of practitioners and international
standards (see our press review). More
March 2021 - A
French Success Story
the beginning of the year, the number of Employee
Ownership Trusts in the UK has been growing
at an increasing rate.
At this pace, the number of companies passed
on to employees will double this year to 600
or 700. Since the formula was put in place
in April 2014, just a few years ago, it has
been a success.
In comparison, France set up a "takeover
FCPE" system in 2006.
France, too, the figure is rising sharply.
Indeed, only two cases of company transfers
to takeover FCPEs had occurred between 2006
and 2020, but this number could rise to three
in 2021, i.e. +50%. This would place France
not far from the +100% expected in Great Britain
and in any case much higher than all other
The takeover FCPE was designed on the same
principle as the FCPEs that are so successful
in large companies. In both cases, these are
employee share purchase plans.
Under the share purchase plans, employees
are invited to invest a portion of their savings
in company shares. To this end, they benefit
from incentives (price discounts, company
contributions, tax bonuses, etc). These plans
are well suited to large companies, whose
size is a factor in mitigating financial risk.
On the other hand, buying the shares of an
SME is a much riskier operation. And the investment
by employees in an SME is generally made during
a business transfer, so a significant part
of the company, often 100%, must be purchased.
Generally, employee savings are not within
the scope of such an operation.
The countries that have been most successful
in organising an employee ownership policy
in SMEs are those that have adopted financial
mechanisms that are essentially different
from share purchase plans.
ESOP plans in the United States and Employee
Ownership Trusts in the United Kingdom are
not employee share purchase plans. Employees
do not take the risk of investing their personal
savings. These employee share ownership plans
are therefore much less risky. And yet they
allow employees to become owners of their
company, often 100% thereof.
There is nothing to prevent the same financial
mechanisms being adopted in France. Nothing
serious stands in the way of implementing
an effective employee share ownership policy
in SMEs, thus heralding a new French success
February 2021 - How many employee shareholders
number of employee shareholders in Europe
continues to rise.
is indicated by the initial figures from the
new Annual Census of Employee Ownership in
Europe, which will be published next April.
graph makes it possible to distinguish the
evolution in listed companies, but also in
all large companies (listed and unlisted),
as well as in SMEs.
In large companies, employee ownership has
suffered from the negative policies adopted
by governments in countries like France or
Denmark in the early 2010's.
policies have become more positive again,
but negative shocks are still far from being
forgotten. It's easier to break trust than
it is to restore it. In Denmark, for example,
tax incentives were abolished in 2011 and
reinstated in 2016, but few companies have
yet taken the risk of reinvesting in employee
SMEs, the number of employee shareholders
in Europe continues to stagnate at around
one million people. With the exception of
Great Britain, no European country has yet
set up an employee share ownership scheme
adapted to SMEs (exception workers' cooperatives).
This in direct contrast to the USA, where
ESOP plans alone have 14 million employee
the current rate, it will take Europe a little
over 400 years to reach a number of employee
shareholders comparable to that achieved today
in the United States.
on, we can do better!
2021 - Employee share ownership in SMEs –
Great Britain's success
is well known that the transfer of a company
represents the most favourable moment in time
and the most efficient operation for multiplying
employee share ownership in SMEs.
is what convinced the USA to implement the
ESOP technique in 1974. In
Europe, the first country to act in the same
direction was Great Britain, with the launch
of the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) formula
in April 2014.
Is it a success?
From 19 transfers in 2014, it rose to
27 in 2015, then 33, 43, 56, 66 and finally
86 in the first eleven months of 2020
(Table 1). A total of 333 companies were
thus transferred to more than 30,000 employee
shareholders. To reach a comparable number
of employee shareholders, it had taken
France more than a hundred years, thanks
to the formula of the workers' cooperative
- the SCOPs (and even more in Italy with
the cooperative di lavoro).
a very large number of cases, as with
the ESOP plan, these are 100% business
transfers to employees. In other cases,
it is a question of partial transfer.
average size of the transferred companies
is 91 employees, which is very representative
of the size of the average SME. In a small
number of cases, these are micro-enterprise
transfers, with an average size of 7 employees.
The average size of the "small"
companies transferred is 25 employees,
and the average size of the "medium"
companies is 100 employees. Finally, there
are 806 employees on average for "large"
unlisted companies. All these figures
are very much in line with the average
size of the populations of companies of
all sizes. The formula therefore shows
a very high degree of adaptability, without
bias in terms of the size of the companies.
sectors of activity concerned are mainly
high value-added and high-tech sectors
(Table 2). Here again, the wide range
of business sectors is a sign of the formula's
short: A remarkable success !
Great Britain is the only European country
so far to have been able to set up an effective
policy of employee share owneership in SMEs.
it could be even better.
in 1980, a few years after its launch in 1974,
the ESOP plan already had some 5,000 business
transfers to its credit in the USA. At the
time, the population of Great Britain was
one third of that of the USA. On the scale
of Great Britain, the ESOP plan had therefore
enabled a little over 1,500 companies to be
transferred, compared to the 333 company transfers
observed today with the EOT formula.
the difference in efficiency between the two
EOT formula is a simplified derivative of
the ESOP plan. It seems that in this case,
as often, the original is better than the
there are two main differences between ESOP
EOT is based on a tax exemption on dividends
(distributed as bonuses to tax-exempt employees
up to £3,600 per year), under special legislation.
comparison, the ESOP plan allows for the exemption
not only of dividends but also of the company's
profits. The ESOP formula therefore avoids
both profit tax and dividend tax. And this,
not by virtue of any particular legislation,
but by virtue of the simple fiscal engineering
of employee share ownership.
In the ESOP formula, employees can cash in
their shares and sell them when they leave
the company (usually upon retirement). In
the EOT formula, they cannot, the trust holds
the shares for an indefinite period of time,
two differences probably explain the much
greater success of the ESOP plan.
however, there is a worldwide debate on the
respective advantages of the two formulas.
ESOP or EOT? The question is being asked in
Great Britain as well as in the USA, Canada
formulas are better than one! It might be
appropriate in the USA to add the EOT formula
next to the existing ESOP model. And it would
no doubt be wise in Great Britain to introduce
the ESOP formula in addition to EOTs.
both cases, it should be easy to leave the
choice of formula to the new shareholders.
Once the trust has been set up, the choice
of formula would be left to the new shareholders,
allowing it to materialise either in the form
of an ESOP or an EOT. There is no doubt that
employee shareholding would find even more
legitimacy and support.
2020 - Fiscal engineering
company doesn't dream of doubling its profitability?
is what the ESOP employee share ownership
plan can achieve in most European countries,
depending on the corporate income and dividend
It is well known that each type of business
ownership has its own particular forms of
fiscal engineering. Whether it's the large
international group, the individual boss or
the family ownership, they all have their
On the other hand, it is generally overlooked
that employee ownership provides particularly
effective mechanisms for SMEs.
a result, the existing tax system may encourage
employee share ownership and the reduction
of wealth inequalities. And this without any
particular new legislation.
particularity is at the root of the success
of ESOP employee share ownership plans.
Indeed, the ESOP plan makes it possible to
clear out the company's profits in the form
of supplementary pension contributions for
the employee-owners of the company. Once the
profit has been disposed of, there is no longer
any tax on the profit or on the dividends.
It's as simple as that.
is what makes the ESOP plan simpler and more
effective than any other for employee ownership
in SMEs and for providing them with equity
has been one of the two keys to the success
of ESOP plans in SMEs in the US since 1974.
is why there are 14 million employee shareholders
in ESOP plans in the USA, compared with barely
one million employee shareholders in SMEs
in Europe, even though the US population is
half as small as ours.
engineering is often decried. In many cases,
it reduces taxes to benefit private interests
at the expense of the public interest.
the fiscal engineering of employee share ownership,
it's a different matter altogether. This benefits
all employees and the public interest. Indeed,
all studies show that it contributes to general
well-being and the reduction of inequalities.
The fiscal engineering of employee share ownership
is a virtuous fiscal engineering.
November 2020 -
How to create an ESOP plan
employee share ownership in SMEs, the ESOP
is the simplest and most effective plan in
Here's how to do it:
1. You are the main shareholder of XYZ Company
and you want to sell your shares.
2. You create a "Foundation (or a trust)
for Employee Share Ownership and Pensions
at Company XYZ".
3. You sell your shares to the foundation.
For the payment, you make credit to the foundation
(or help it to obtain credit or other financing).
4. The following year, as every year, XYZ
company makes a profit. This used to be taxed.
But not anymore. The company calculates and
pays the foundation a pension contribution
equivalent to the profit before employee shareholding.
From then on, the profit has disappeared.
No profit, no tax.
5. The foundation receives the annual pension
contribution. It is a non-profit organisation,
so it is not taxed on its income. No tax there
6. The foundation creates an individual account
for each employee. This registers each employee's
rights to receive shares in Company XYZ when
he or she leaves the company (usually at retirement
In addition, the foundation organises a system
for employee shareholders to vote on items
on the agenda of the annual meeting of shareholders
of company XYZ.
8. Each year, the foundation receives the
supplementary pension contribution of the
employees who are members of the plan. This
contribution is first used to repay the credit
originally received to purchase the shares.
9. Then, the free shares are added each year
in the form of "entitlements" to
each employee's individual account, using
a simple distribution key (often pro rata
10. Thus employees exercise their rights as
shareholders and own the shares, except that
they can only dispose of (sell) them when
they leave the company. They are highly motivated
to make everything work for the best. In fact,
it has been observed that companies with ESOP
plans work better than others.
An ESOP plan is as simple as that.
October 2020 -
Even in France
million employee shareholders in the ESOP
model in the US alone. Millions of employee
shareholders in small and medium-sized businesses
there, almost nothing here. Prosperity for
them, peanuts here.
But what is really American about the ESOP
Is a Management Buy Out (MBO) an exclusively
American phenomenon? Certainly not, it's finance,
it's universal. Even in France.
Is a Leveraged Buy Out (LBO) an exclusively
American phenomenon? Certainly not, it's finance,
just as as two and two make four, it's universal.
Even in France.
Is a fund or foundation where shares are held
on behalf of employees an exclusively American
phenomenon? Certainly not, it's universal.
Even in France.
a shareholder who sells all or part of his
shares to a foundation an exclusively American
phenomenon? Of course not, it's happening
everywhere. Even in France.
Are pension supplements deductible from corporate
profits an exclusively American phenomenon?
Certainly not, they are everywhere. Even in
a foundation where shares held on behalf of
employees only become available when the employees
leave the company an exclusively American
phenomenon? See Austria, even in very large
companies like Voestalpine or Erste Bank.
See Sweden... Is it possible here? Clearly,
yes. Even in France.
Thus, these are all the main ingredients
of the ESOP model.
All this is possible in Europe as well. Without
special legislation, with existing law. Even
We are reminded that our friends at Equalis
Capital in Paris were justly proud to announce
a first a few years ago, a French ESOP (of
the non-leveraged type, it is true). So, when
will the first leveraged ESOP be launched
The American aspect of the ESOP model is one
aspect and one aspect only: they use it and
we don't. Will we ever be able to stop this
foolishness? Even in France?
How can this kind of employee share ownership
plan be introduced in every European country?
A group of European and American experts explain
2020 - A whole library
The ESOP is the
most iconic employee share plan in the world.
It is so iconic that it is described as "the"
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (which also
brought some confusion).
other model involves so many employee shareholders
(14 million in the USA). It got the attention
of the most famous employee ownership experts
and researchers since it was launched in 1974.
year, these experts meet in San Diego, California,
including many Europeans. It is the topic
of most of the research and academic works
about employee share ownership worldwide.
it is the most effective and succesfull employee
share scheme for SMEs.
full dedicated library features more than
600 resources designed to help teaching and
research work about employee share ownership.
All information about CLEO Library can be
can we introduce this type of employee share
ownership plan in every European country?
A group of European and American experts explains
2020 - Employee share ownership
is a model for employee share ownership plans
for SMEs a thousand times more effective than
all the others. It is the ESOP. It is very
suitable for SME owners, as well as for employees.
Why? Because it is based on today's financial
techniques, not those of past centuries.
In this model, employees do not have to find
the money, sacrifice their savings, take the
Indeed, just as can be seen in the leveraged
buyout techniques, it is the company and its
shareholders that provide the financing and
How can we introduce this type of employee
share ownership plan in every European country?
group of European and American experts explains
June 2020 - The three branches of employee
We need to be clear
in Europe that employee share ownership is
not a single model - in fact there are three
main models of employee share plans.
1) Employee Share Purchase Plans (ESPPs).
In this model, employees buy shares of the
company they work for, usually at a discounted
price. ESPPs are the most effective plans
for large listed companies.
2) Stock Options, which are the most effective
plans for startups.
3) The ESOP model. It is something completely
different from the first two models and it
is the most effective employee share plan
for SMEs. In this model, employees become
the collective owner of the company they work
for. For this, they don't have to use their
own resources or savings. The funding usually
comes from external sources, typically banks
(as in a leveraged buyout) or other sources
as in the context of the corona crisis. The
first beneficiaries of the ESOPs are thus
not employees but companies. In the USA, this
is a significant way of funding the whole
economy. The ESOP model can help companies
to tackle liquidity problems and bankruptcies,
where employees will the ultimate beneficiaries
- this is why it is an "employee"
Let's have a look at Europe as regards these
three different models.
1) ESPPs are well known in Europe: Several
European countries have been promoting these
schemes for a long time and successfully so.
They are mainly intended for the some 10 000
European listed companies, employing 36 million
employees or 25% of employees in European
2) Stock options. The European Commission
has just decided to launch a new strategy
to encourage employee stock options for startups.
Undoubtedly a significant step forward. It
is focused on the some 18.250 European startups,
employing some tens of thousands employees
or 0.1% of all employees in private companies.
3) ESOPs. This model is essentially aimed
at SMEs (and large non-listed companies).
We calculate there are 1.7 million SMEs in
Europe employing 54 million persons or 37%
of employees in private companies, - and even
67 million or 46% if we include large non-listed
Still today, employee share ownership in European
SMEs is virtually unknown. It has been highly
successful for 45 years in the USA and so
the model for it already exists - the ESOP.
European SMEs are missing out badly, and it
could be a major tool to help tackle the crisis.
The European Commission has made good progress
on stock options for startups. We urge to
make similar efforts for ESOPs in SMEs. The
numbers involved are many time greater. More
April 2020 - Pandemic
to all European
governments and institutions
in times of pandemic
February 2020 - Contrasts
in the UK
No this is not about
Six new firms moved last month to the Employee
Ownership Trust scheme, the highest number
in a single month since the scheme was introduced
into British law in 2014. Like the ESOP plan
in the USA from which it is loosely inspired,
the scheme aims to encourage the transmission
of SMEs to employees.
On the other hand, while presenting itself
as the best example for employee share schemes
in the UK and employee ownership as the key
point of its strategy, John Lewis department
stores chain today faces the biggest crisis
in its 156-year history.
January 2020 - France: On the way for the 10%
France decided last year to reach a
10% employee shareholding target in French
economy by 2030.
This basically means doubling the current
level in large listed companies.
On the other hand, everything remains to be
done in French SMEs.
Very ambitious objective!
A working group of experts is now proposing
the set of 13 "strong and disruptive"
measures to reach the target. More
November 2019 - Germany: The
Coalition decides that tax incentives will be
In the course of the negotiations on the basic
pension, the coalition has agreed to increase
the tax-free allowance for employee participation
in working capital from 360 euros to 720 euros.
The Coalition Resolution of 10 November 2019
states: "Employee share ownership contributes
to the accumulation of wealth of employees.
In order to increase their attractiveness,
the maximum tax-exempt amount will be increased
from the current 360 euros to 720 euros. "
Thus, the coalition takes up a long-standing
demand of the German Association for Employee
Participation (AGP) to improve the tax environment
for employee capital participation.
the increase in the allowance, AGP expects
a significant effect on the accumulation of
assets of employees who can already make use
of the corresponding investment offers of
their company. "To what extent more companies
will offer participation programs for their
employees in the future, remains to be seen,
however, since the allowance in comparison
to other European countries remains low. The
European experience here shows a clear correlation
between the level of support and the degree
of penetration of employee capital participation,
"says AGP Managing Director, Dr. Ing. Heinrich
Beyer. The association therefore pleads for
a further gradual expansion of the tax subsidy.
A further increase could also strengthen the
German start-up companies in the international
location competition for qualified specialists.
November 2019 - Employee share
ownership in SMEs
share ownership cannot be effectively developed
in SMEs by applying the same schemes as for
large companies. Large companies have to raise
more capital, they have to multiply the number
of shareholders in this view, and it makes
sense to involve many employee shareholders
as well. In SMEs, the need for capital is
limited, shareholders are few, and most often
it does not make sense to allocate shares
to many employees. In SMEs, collective employee
share ownership schemes are far more efficient
and, worldwide, the ESOP plan adopted in 1974
in the US is by far the most efficient of
The United Kingdom is the only country in
Europe to have introduced employee share ownership
schemes for SMEs with some success (but much
less than in the US). For its part, the Labour
Party has also made a proposal under the label
of "employee ownership", which
On the other hand, employee share ownership
in SMEs, whether individual and direct as
in large companies raises the question of
devices to be able to exchange shares, as
can be done on a stock market. In the US,
the OTC Markets Group is pushing
2019 - Employee
share ownership impacts top executives compensation
A research project at the University of Aix-Marseilles
in France highlights the impact of employee
share ownership on the level of compensation
of top executives in listed companies.
Employee share ownership affects the organization
of work, policies and management practices,
leading ultimately to an impact on corporate
The results of the study show that employee
share ownership plays a direct and indirect
role on the determinants of executive compensation,
with a significant moderating impact.
In addition, the presence of employee shareholders
directors on the Board of Directors tends
to limit executive compensation.
More information (in French)
2019 - The
USA is widening the gap
Studies are proliferating about employee share
ownership in the US, bringing useful information
for everyone in the world, including Europe.
The 2018 administration of the US General Social
Survey, a long-standing survey of the US work
force, included a segment on employee ownership.
It found that 20% of private-sector workers
in the USA have some level of ownership in the
companies where they work, including 11 million
who participate in ESOPs and 25 million with
some other form of stock-based compensation.
This is 36 million in total compared to 9 million
The survey found that among those workers that
hold company stock, the average value of that
stock was $75,205.
In total $2,700 billion compared to 400 billion
€ in Europe.
The study's author, professor Douglas Kruse,
noted that employee-owners are "six times
less likely to be laid off." The study
found that, over the last year, the surveyed
non-employee-owners were laid off at a rate
of 3.7%, versus 0.6% for the employee-owners.
Among companies with employee engagement programs,
the study found that companies with generous
employee ownership plans had a rate of turnover
in general (i.e., including voluntary turnover)
of 6%, far less than the 14% rate for those
with no stock plan.
This reality is far from the idea which was
prevailing in the Juncker Commission in Brussels,
that employee share ownership would be too risky
and bringing additional uncertainty to workers.
The truth is that employee share ownership brings
more wealth and stability. More
2019 - Congratulations
from the Irish Parliament
Irish Parliament likes this newsletter, he
let us know by letter.
Every month, this newsletter highlights the
significant facts of employee share ownership
worldwide, as well as European policies.
The monthly press review is a fabulous source
of information. It sheds light on proven facts
and helps sort out fake news, delivering a
story full of novelties and twists.
The progress and benefits of employee share
ownership are becoming more and more evident.
from the Irish Parliament
2018 - Call
from European startups
tech startups are asking politicians to
reform employee stock ownership rules to help
them better compete with Silicon Valley peers
could be the world’s most entrepreneurial
policies that currently govern employee ownership
across Europe are often archaic and highly
are so punishing that they put our startups
at a major disadvantage"...
2018 - European
The Parliament passed its Resolution by an
overwhelming majority on 23 October in Strasbourg
(589 for, 39 against and 10 abstentions).
This is thanks to the Report due to Ms Renate
Weber, Romanian Member of the European Parliament
(MEP), reiterating the Parliament's support
to the goal of "employee share ownership
for all" and the need for a European
Amongst all benefits, the Report particularly
highlights the positive effect of employee
share ownership on growth and employment.
Together with other MEPs, candidates to the
2019 Election and European Commissioners,
Ms Renate Weber will conclude the Conference
of 6 February in Brussels.
2018 - Employee
share ownership? Which one?
to make employee share ownership really work?
If there is one thing that absolutely everyone
believes in the UK, it is that employee share
ownership is a very good thing. However,
the new proposals due to the Labour Party
provoke violent controversies.
really matters is not just the shares but
the rights, obligations and extent of ownership
attached to them. Full rights or imitations?
In the Labour Party version, "employee"
ownership would not really be an ownership
scheme: Employees would not be able to buy
or sell the shares that would be notionally
2018 - Legislative
proposal in Germany
North Rhine-Westphalia Government wants to
make employee ownership in start-ups much
more attractive in Germany through higher
tax incentives. A legislative proposal in
this sense is submitted to the Bundesrat.
current tax incentive would be increased from
360€ as it is now in Germany to 5.000€ annually.
This way, Germany would be at a standard level
for such incentives in Europe.
A European wave to promote employee ownership
and stock options in start-ups can be observed
in Europe recently. New legislation in this
sense are already in force in Ireland, France,
Sweden and the Netherlands, and projects are
also in discussion in Austria, Luxembourg
2018 - President
President Donald Trump signed historic new
law bringing new incentives to promote employee-owned
businesses. It is known as the "Main
Street Employee Ownership Act".
new legislation had co-sponsors on both sides
of the political aisle, Democrats and Republicans.
is the most far-reaching employee share ownership
legislation to pass US Congress in over 20
It is expected to double or even triple the
growth rate of employee-owned companies over
the next decade. More
2018 - Barometer of
employee share ownership policies in European
20 European countries now have policies for
the promotion and the development of employee
share ownership, against 18 in 2017 and 15
in 2015. This is driving our barometer to
its all-time high.
Austria, France, Ireland, The Netherlands,
Sweden, Denmark, they all introduced new pieces
of incentive legislation this year. In addition,
France - already number one for employee share
ownership in Europe - took the decision to
double its employee share ownership by 2030,
which would put it at the level reached today
by the USA. An important signal for all Europeans.
2018 - US Federal Reserve Bank on employee ownership
In an ongoing series of articles on the quality
of work, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
published a long article on employee ownership,
showing how improved employee engagement benefits
companies, workers, and local economies.
article includes an interview with Douglas
Kruse of Rutgers University that covers the
background and latest research results about
employee ownership and ESOPs, plus an interview
with several employee-owners of Cape Air,
including a video about employee ownership
at the company.
2018 - Discriminations in voting rights
long term investors, employee shareholders
benefit from positive discrimination in France
since 2014: Voting rights are usually doubled,
which means that when employee shareholders
hold for instance 6%, their voting rights
count for 12%. This contributes to the growing
involvement of employee share ownership in
corporate governance in France. Employee shareholders
are represented in the Boards of Directors
in 33 of the largest French companies.
At the contrary, employee shareholders' voting
rights suffer negative discrimination in six
European countries: Denmark, Sweden, Finland,
The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
Typical cases here are companies issuing two
classes of shares, A-shares with 10 votes
and B-shares with 1 vote. Controlling owners
hold high voting shares but employee share
plans are based on low voting ones. This way,
employee shareholders' voting rights are severely
discriminated, in up to 37% of large companies
in Sweden. Employee shareholders' voting rights
are generally reduced by 30% to 60% in Denmark
and Sweden, in comparison with the one-share-one-vote
April 2018 - World's
First Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership
School of Management (New York) launches the
world's first academic "Institute for the
Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing".
The new global research hub will be dedicated
to addressing economic inequality through
capital shares. It will expand the existing
research programs, develop promising scholars
worldwide, and explore new collaborations,
with the goal of building a more inclusive
economy for workers and their families. More
February 2018 - The
most remarkable cases
list of the most remarkable large European
companies considering employee share ownership
was just updated, with 113 most remarkable
cases in 2017. They are located in Austria,
Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Spain,
Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands,
Norway, Sweden and the UK. The list will be
part of the coming "Annual Economic Survey
of Employee Share Ownership in European Countries
in 2017", to be released in March. Full
2018 - 10%
in the hands of employees in France
objective of 10% to be held by employee shareholders
in France by 2030 was launched last month
in Paris by the French Federation of Employee
Shareholders Associations (FAS).
This may be compared with 4 to 6% held now
in large French companies (depending on definitions),
and to some 10% in the USA.
President Macron and the French Government
will back this objective, seeing employee
share ownership as a key factor for the revival
of a population of individual investors.
After eight years of negative policies under
Presidents Sarkozy and François Hollande,
this is a very good signal for employee share
ownership in Europe.
France is back !
2017 - Good
news for employee share ownership in Europe
all barometers, this one announces the future.
The positive trend of our barometer since
2013 announced the resumption of growth in
the number of employee shareholders in European
companies. This one is actually happening.
Very good news for all Europeans !
All recent policy developments in Europe pave
the way towards higher incentives for employee
ownership, which confirms the positive trend
observed since 2013.
addition to the two existing employee share
schemes in Austria, a third scheme
will be introduced on 1.1.2018 providing exemption
of tax and social contribution up to 4.500
€ annually. In France, the employers'
social contribution on restricted share units
will be reduced in 2018. New legislation in
2018 also in Ireland, in
The Netherlands, in Sweden.
In addition, Poland is preparing promising
Twenty European countries now have incentive
policies for the development of employee share
ownership. This number had never been higher
2017 - What's going on with the European Commission
main obstacle to the development of employee
share ownership across Europe is the lack
of information about its benefits and how
a letter to European Commissioner it is recalled
that the Commission is committed to launch
a European information plan to raise awareness
in this sense. A
section on the promotion of employee share
ownership has also been added to the Capital
Markets Union Action Plan.
when it came time to vote on a budget to materialize,
some surprising objections have emerged within
letter to Commissioner Marianne Thyssen calls
on the Commission to fulfill its commitments.
2017 - A
big idea for tax reforms
time to expand the opportunity of the working
middle class to participate in broad-based
tax reform that assures that middle class
employees get a fair shake is the American
way to go. Congress is at present considering
about a half dozen employee ownership bills,
all of which have components that could make
the economy work better and more fairly.
key message is that whatever it does, Congress
should make any tax reductions for corporations
conditional on sharing the benefits with workers.
is the repeated call from Professors Joseph
Blasi, Douglas Kruse and Richard Freeman,
world renowned for their research works on
employee ownership. More
2017 - Is employee
ownership contributing to China's stock market
This is the question posed by the National
Center for Employee Ownership in its last
stocks on the Shanghai rose to a 20-month
high, analysts cited China's ownership reforms
as contributing to investor confidence.
quoted in China Daily, Gao Ting, head of China strategy at UBS
Securities, cited reforms by China Unicom,
the country's second-largest mobile phone
provider, which include a diversified board
of directors and employee ownership. Investor
sentiment was boosted by signs of accelerated
ownership reforms at State-owned enterprises.
2017 - Austrian
Austrian legislation for employee ownership
was simple until now. Any benefit that an
employee received from an employee share plan
(as share price rebate, as free shares, matching
shares, etc.) was free of tax up to 1.460
amount was doubled last year, to 3.000 Euro
is probably the best example of the "basic
block", in a "building block" approach of
legislation for employee ownership.
simple piece of legislation enabled Voestalpine
(50.000 employees, the Austrian steel industry,
15% employee-owned) to make employee ownership
a key factor in its success.
strong contrast with many other steel industries
in Europe as Arcelor, Florange, Cockerill
and others !
the Austrian Government (big coalition with
Christian Democrats and Social Democrats)
has just decided to increase the free annual
amount to 4.500 Euro annually.
will be conditioned to a new scheme: In place
of individual direct employee ownership, it
will be collectively managed through an Employee
Ownership Foundation (Mitarbei-terbeteiligungsstiftung),
as it is for Voestalpine.
Austrian companies, even the largest, have
indicated that they are ready.
2017 - Barometer of employee ownership policies
in European countries
Eighteen European countries now have policies
for the promotion and development of employee
ownership. This number had never been higher
Except in France, all recent policy developments
in Europe pave the way towards higher incentives
for employee ownership. Norway doubled fiscal
incentives on 1.1.2017. Poland prepares dedicated
legislation. Ireland announces a new share
incentive scheme for SMEs to be introduced
in 2018, as well as The Netherlands with a
favorable tax treatment of stock options for
employees of innovative start-ups. These
new developments confirm the positive trend
observed since 2013.
On the other hand, hesitation dominated in
France, where the outgoing government suppressed
in 2017 the positive provisions introduced
by the Macron Law eighteen months earlier.
This explains the relapse of the barometer
negative political decisions of France since
2009 unfortunately influence the performance
of the whole of Europe. In France, they are
at the origin of the heavy fall in the rate
of democratization of employee ownership,
the number of employee shareholders being
reduced to three million compared with four
million with unchanged policy.
2017 - Employee ownership and economic well-being
Employee Ownership —employees owning stock
in the companies where they work—is a major
aspect of the U.S. economy. But until now,
little research has explored its impact on
A new research on "Employee
Ownership and Economic Well-Being"
due to the NCEO in the USA presents some of
the first in-depth analysis of the relationship
between employee ownership and workers’ economic
The findings of this research are remarkable.
Employee ownership is a market-friendly, anti-inequality
policy that improves outcomes for companies
and provides workers with higher wages, more
generous benefits, and greater job stability.
In short: Employee-owners lose less sleep
over their financial future. More
May 2017 - Only half as many layoffs
with employee stock ownership had only half
as many layoffs as other companies during
the last two recessions.
A new study co-authored by Rutgers School
of Management and Professor Douglas Kruse
establishes the first conclusive link between
broad-based employee stock ownership and increased
employment stability in the USA.
"If good-paying, stable jobs are the
economy’s goal, then encouraging employee
stock ownership in companies makes a lot of
sense," said Douglas Kruse.
"Employee ownership is often seen primarily
as a way to improve employee relations and
increase productivity, but these results show
there is an important add-on effect on job
April 2017 - Pivotal Part
share ownership should be a pivotal part of
the Capital Markets Union, - this is the position
of the German Share Institute (Deutsches
Aktieninstitut - DAI), responding to the
public consultation organized by the European
Commission. The Capital Markets Union (CMU)
is a plan of the European Commission to mobilize
capital in Europe. "Employee share ownership
helps to stabilize the European economy as
a whole" tells the DAI. "Studies
from the US clearly show that companies offering
their employees a stake of the business capital
create more jobs than companies that do not
have the same instruments in place. Employee
shareholders accumulate more assets for retirement
purposes, get better wages and are less likely
to become unemployed compared to other employees.
As income of private households currently
depends highly on wages, employee shareowners
benefit from raising capital incomes, which
decreases wealth inequality in the society."
April 2017 - Need for a European
its response to the public consultation on
the Capital Markets Union, the European Federation
of Employee Share Ownership points out the
fact that the EU is strongly underdeveloped
compared to the US considering employee share
ownership, which contributes much more to
the solidity and to the stability of capital
markets in the US than it does in Europe.
The underdevelopment of employee share ownership
hampers also Europe in terms of productivity,
growth, job creation, as well as in the fields
of pensions or business transmission, especially
considering SMEs. The CMU Action Plan should
face this through two new measures: First,
a dedicated European Action Plan should be
set up to promote European convergence in
this field. Secondly, the ignorance of the
ESOP scheme is a dramatic handicap for Europe,
leading to the fact that employee ownership
in SMEs is practically unknown in Europe compared
to the US. The CMU Action Plan should remedy
February 2017 - The most remarkable
list of the most remarkable large European
companies considering employee share ownership
was just updated, with 114 most remarkable
cases in 2016. They are located in Austria,
Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, Spain,
Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy,
the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.
The list will be part of the coming "Annual
Economic Survey of Employee Share Ownership
in European Countries in 2016", to be
published in March. Full
January 2017 - Formidable engine - again
The stake held by employees in large European companies
continues its rise. It had never been so high before,
with 3.20% in 2016 (see chart). Even through the
European crisis, employee ownership demonstrates
again and again its status as a formidable engine
of participation and development. Assets per person
have doubled since 2009. These are the first indications
to be drawn from the new "Economic Survey of
Employee Share Ownership in European Countries",
which will be published in March 2017.
December 2016 - Barometer
of Employee Ownership Policies
new edition of the "Barometer of Employee
Share Ownership Policies in European Countries"
is just released.
Except in France, all recent policy choices
in Europe pave the way towards higher incentives
for employee ownership:
prepares a dedicated legislation.
· The Swedish
government is considering the introduction
of a favorable tax-qualified option regime
for small and medium sized companies, which
could take effect from January 2018.
· In Ireland,
a new share scheme incentive focused on SMEs
would be introduced in 2018.
These new developments confirm the positive
trend observed since 2013. Most recent policy
decisions regarding employee ownership in
Europe are positive. More information
November 2016 - Spanish
employee-owned "sociedades laborales"
European Parliament's Committee on Employment
and Social Affairs published a study on the
Spanish model of sociedades laborales.
This business model is characterized by the
majority of the company's capital being held
by employee shareholders.
Initially in the 80's, its creation was linked
to processes of crisis and industrial reconversion.
Since the mid 90's, it had an important boom
in corporate processes, boosting enterprise
are working for the 10.000 sociedades laborales,
most of them being shareholders of the company
they work for.
This is a typical business model for employee
ownership in very small enterprises.
October 2016 - All
is well in Paris
It is true that France is still number one
for employee share ownership in Europe. All
things are fine in Paris, my fair lady.
However, what a drop since 2011! The democratization
rate of employee ownership fell from 45 to
37% and the number of employee owners in France
returned to 3 million (instead of 4 million
if policies hadn't been changed).
The imposition of a specific tax on employee
share plans ("forfait social") had
a disastrous effect. Not only in France but
also by imitation in several other European
countries. Denmark is exemplary, which removed
all fiscal incentives for employee share plans
in 2011 (with a new social democratic government)
to restore them fully in 2016 (with a new
A good example to make things even better
in Paris! More information
October 2016 - Risk
and performance of employee share ownership in France
ERES Group publishes outstanding results based on
the analysis of all broad-based employee share
plans in large French companies since 2006. After
5 years, employees having subscribed to an employee
share offering between 2006 and 2010 were winners
in 82% of cases (with the dividend, the discount
and the average employer contribution of 50%) while
ordinary shareholders would be winners in 60% of
cases. What confirms that employee ownership is
to be ranked into the category of "good risks".
September 2016 - Economic
A remarkable research work reports a strong
correlation between employee ownership incidence
and the index of economic freedom.
The author, Ricardo Machado of Porto School
of Management (Portugal), aims to understand
the determinants of the implementation of
economic democracy, measured by the incidence
of employee share ownership plans, within
the European Union countries.
The full publication about "The Determinants
of Employee Ownership Plan Implementation
in EU Countries - the Quest for Economic Democracy"
is available for download
June 2016 - European
Conference on employee ownership policies
The European Conference on European policies
for employee share ownership was held in Brussels
on May 19, 2016.
The Conference supports the project of a European
Action Plan to raise awareness about the benefits
of employee ownership and participation in
The Final Report of the Conference and all
materials are now available for download
June 2016 - Barometer
of employee share ownership policies in European
mass development of employee share ownership
brings better motivation, productivity, profitability,
higher growth, more and better jobs. This
is good for all. But it depends on policy
will to initiate the virtuous circle through
appropriate fiscal incentives.
After 2008, some European countries took negative
decisions, removing or decreasing fiscal incentives,
which led to a decline of the number of employee
shareholders. Some other European countries
took the opposite way, applying new or higher
incentives, which led to a higher number of
All these policy decisions in various European
countries, in a positive or a negative way,
can be summarized through a single dedicated
This is the reason of the setting up of the
EFES "Barometer of employee share ownership
policies in European countries".
Before 2009, the barometer showed a continuous
increase, practically all policy decisions
being positive. A negative phase occurred
from 2009 to 2013. Since then, most policy
decisions are positive again.
information and download
April 2016 - Employee
share ownership in SMEs
A first reliable study about employee share ownership
in French SMEs was published last month. It is well
known that employee share ownership in SMEs is underdeveloped
in Europe, especially compared to the USA. This
is due to the remarkable effectiveness of the ESOP
model, in use in the USA for over 40 years, but
not in Europe. The usual evaluation of the number
of employee shareholders in SMEs is 1 million in
Europe compared to 10 million in the US. The new
study, ordered by Eres and BDO, brings the number
of 250.000 in France, which confirms the former
usual evaluations. More
January 2016 - French
All actors of employee share ownership in France
met for their "Grand Prix" on 15 December
in Paris. They all agreed to launch a new "crusade"
for employee share ownership in France. Several
governments in the European Union chose for higher
fiscal incentives, considering employee share ownership
as an investment for the future and a key for recovering
from the European crisis. So did the UK and Austria
recently. The example is also coming from the USA,
with employee ownership being one of the themes
of the presidential election campaign. France should
get back to the same way.
January 2016 - Formidable
Assets held by the employee owners in Europe were
never so high: 370 billion Euro and more than 3%
of the capital of all large European companies in
2015. This is more than 45,000 € per person (more
than 25,000 € if executive directors are excluded).
Thus, even through the European crisis, employee
share ownership is a formidable engine to share
in results and growth, - assets per person have
more than doubled since 2009. This is the first
indication from the next "Economic Survey of
Employee Share Ownership in European Countries"
to be published in March 2016. More
December 2015 - Employee
share schemes statistics provoke wide debate
in the UK
latest published share scheme statistics has
sparked off a major debate over how best to
rejuvenate UK employee share ownership, following
the British ESOP Centre (see press review).
"The UK has perhaps the best employee share
plan legislation in the world", but it
is still far from Mrs Thatcher aspiration, 30
years ago, for a Britain where owning shares
would be "as common as having a car".
Now after 30 years of legislation in the UK
and in France, the facts have spoken: Employee
share ownership is twice more significant in
France; this is where the employee share plan
legislation was most effective. This is probably
due to the fact that employee share plans in
France are based on (blocked) shares, while
they are essentially based on share options
in the UK. As we already mentioned some time
ago, after a spectacular football match: France-UK:
November 2015 - Italian
Post: Missed opportunity
Italian government offered 40% of the shares
of the Italian Post, on which 1.13% reserved
for employees. Results of the IPO are very satisfactory
for the Italian State, collecting 3.4 billion
euros, with total demand exceeding 4 times the
offer. Employees have received half of the reserved
shares: 26,234 employees subscribed, less than
20% of all employees of the Italian Post. In
an open letter, the CISL union had put forward
its own draft collective ownership, combined
with community representation of employees on
the German model. The Italian Government did
not want to go that way, nor did it choose for
a real employee share ownership plan supported
through fiscal incentives. Yet will there be
IPO bonuses for 12 top executives, up to half
of their annual salary. Comparison: The British
Government put Royal Mail on the stock market
two years ago, while awarding a 10% stake for
free to the 150,000 employees of the British
open letter of the CISL
October 2015 - Employee
share ownership is not a cuckoo
dangerous and irritating situation is occurring
about employee share ownership within the OECD.
The OECD suggests that ESOPs and employee share
ownership should be discouraged because putting
all employees' eggs in the same basket, especially
considering pension savings. The principle of
diversification applies to employee share ownership
as to any other financial investment. It is
illustrated by the aphorism "do not put
all eggs in one basket."
However, employee share ownership is not just
a financial investment. It also has the character
of an industrial investment. This character
is most evident when the employees' stake reaches
100% of the company's capital, which is the
typical case of employee share ownership in
SMEs. However, it is also present, although
more incidentally, to the minority employee
share ownership in large companies.
If the aphorism of eggs and basket frequently
applies to the diversification of financial
investments, another aphorism applies better
to industrial investment: "The bird lays
all eggs in the same nest". Among the
few exceptions, the example of the cuckoo is
well known. It must be said: Employee share
ownership is not a cuckoo. More information
September 2015 - 2.000.000.000
Euro to promote employee share ownership
billion Euro: On the scale of Europe, this is
the estimated tax cost to the US Federal Government
for ESOP-specific incentives in 2014 (US$ 1.9
billion). By comparison, a new study was just
published on the impact of employee ownership
and ESOPs on layoffs and the costs of unemployment
to the Federal Government. The data show that
employee-owners are far less likely to lose
their jobs than non-employee-owners. In turn,
these low job losses saved the Federal Government
US$17 billion in 2014 alone, making clear that
ESOP incentives have been an excellent investment
for the taxpayer, for the Federal Government
and for the US economy as a whole.
This is exactly what we need in Europe too:
The same ESOP model, with the same fiscal incentives,
for the same macroeconomic balance. The ESOP
(Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is the most
effective model in the world for employee ownership
in SMEs. It provides private owners with the
best way to sell their company to employees,
and for employees to become owners at low risk.
June 2015 - German
politics finally needs to act
has to be drawn to the recent call published
by the German Share Institute (Deutsches
Whereas in other European countries like France
(3.3 million employee shareholders) and Great
Britain (2.2 million) the numbers of employee
shareholders are counted in millions, in Germany
only 800.000 employees benefit from employee
In its call Deutsches Aktieninstitut therefore
demands of the governmental parties to finally
create higher tax incentives and better regulation
to promote employee share ownership. Due to
continuing low interest rates Germans will neither
be able to maintain their savings nor obtain
a sufficient amount of money for their retirement
arrangements without more share investment.
Employee share ownership is a good way to get
a first insight into saving with shares.
However, the number of employee shareholders
is declining in Germany. In fact, it has never
been so small. Fiscal aspects play a major role
for the dissemination of employee share ownership.
If Germany really wants to promote employee
share ownership, it needs to adapt its allowances
to common international levels and to increase
it strongly. More
June 2015 - Call
from 10 major German organizations
major German organizations call for a new German
Agenda for employee share ownership. More
May 2015 - Fiscal
policies for employee share ownership
is the map of European countries encouraging
employee share ownership. In blue, the 12 European
countries supporting employee share ownership
through significant fiscal incentives. This
is a minority of Member States in the European
Union. However, this minority of 12 Member States
of the EU represents the lion's share when considering
European listed companies, stock market capitalization
and employee share ownership: 72% of all European
listed companies, with 72% of employees, 77%
of the stock market capitalization, 83% of employee
details in our new publication about "Employee
Share Ownership for Building the Capital Markets
May 2015 - Capital
European Commission launched a Green Book and
a public consultation on "building a Capital
It is remarkable that, together with the European
Federation of Employee Share Ownership, several
major organizations representing the full range
of private actors of the Capital Markets Union
converge on analysis and proposals about employee
share ownership in Europe, as:
Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
of European Securities Exchanges
the European Federation of Investors and Financial
Answering the European Commission’s Green Paper
on the Capital Markets Union, EuropeanIssuers,
the European Private Equity & Venture Capital
Association and the Federation
of European Securities Exchanges published the
EU IPO Report: "Rebuilding
IPOs in Europe; Creating jobs and growth in European
Report points out the fact that the number of employee
shareholders was recently declining in Europe. As
the EFES evidenced, these changes are clearly related
to the regressive fiscal policies in many European
European companies need investment, to grow, to
enter new markets, to develop new products and to
create jobs. A healthy European capital market attracting
long-term investors (especially households, employees
and pension savers) is a critical route to channel
such investment. More generally, "the links
between savers, the original providers of capital,
and the financial markets, which allocate that capital,
have become less coherent".
Report recommends that policymakers set the goal
of creating an equity culture in Europe. That Member
States should be encouraged to use tax policy to
encourage long-term investing, providing tax incentives
to encourage investment for the longer-term in equity.
That fiscal incentives should be provided to support
the development of employee share ownership across
April 2015 - European
governments bet again on employee ownership
table of all recent policy decisions regarding
employee share ownership in European countries
reveals a remarkable shift.
At the beginning of the financial crisis,
several countries took negative decisions
to reduce their expenses, in a pure short
term vision. This bad signal came first from
France, followed by Greece, Denmark, Ireland
and The Netherlands, between 2009 and 2012.
Since 2012, most political decisions are positive
again, as in the UK, in Spain, in Hungary,
and in Austria where tax incentives will be
April 2015 - New
study finds ESOPs total return beats S&P 500
A new analysis of the economic impact of S corporation ESOPs in
USA examines trends in account balances, distributions
to participants, total return, and the existence
of other retirement plans. The study, performed
by EY's Quantitative Economics and Statistics,
S corporation ESOPs are growing
by many measures. They represented 22% of ESOPs
in 2002 and 42% in 2012. The number of plans,
participants, and net assets also increased over
The total return for participants
in S ESOPs from 2002 to 2012 was an 11.5% compound
annual growth rate, 62% higher than the S&P
500 Total Returns Index's 7.1% growth rate over
the same period. Details
February 2015 - Divorce
Assets held by European employees in shares of
their company increased to 301 billion Euro in
2014, a new record. However, for the third consecutive
year in 2014, the number of employee shareholders
decreased in Europe. This is clearly related to
the regressive fiscal policies in many European
countries. In contrast, the UK chose to double
the fiscal incentives for employee share ownership,
considering it is a key element of recovery and
an investment for the future. Lower incentives
have a clear consequence in continental Europe:
The democratization of employee share ownership
regresses, leading to wealth concentration in
the richest hands. The following graph shows how
dramatic is the divorce between continental Europe
and the UK. While 30% of employees held shares
of their company last year in the UK (the highest
rate since the statistic exists), a sharp drop
below 24% can be observed on the continent. More
January 2015 - Warning
For the third consecutive year in 2014, the number
of employee shareholders decreased in Europe.
This should be a warning signal for everyone.
In fact, the number of employee shareholders in
continental Europe decreased by 500.000 persons
(-8%) from 2011 to 2014, while the number increased
by 200.000 persons in the UK (+8%). These changes
are clearly related to the regressive fiscal policies
in many European countries, while in contrast,
the UK chose to double the fiscal incentives for
employee share ownership, considering it is a
key element of recovery and an investment for
the future. This is the first information from
our annual census of employee ownership in European
Virtual Information Center for employee ownership
and participation offers a full picture of each
country of the European Union. For each country,
it offers a summary of dedicated legislation as
well as a short information about fiscal, social,
political and cultural aspect of employee ownership
and participation. It is on the Internet and it
is for free. More information
December 2014 - Italy on the right way
On November 30 the Italian Government approved
the Parliamentary Motion presented by MPs Tidei,
Galperto and Bargero about the promotion of employee
share ownership in Italy. The document is largely
inspired by the EFES positions and activities.
Its aim is to promote employee share ownership
through a new legislation and through a dedicated
more in Italian
study entitled "Employee Financial Participation
in Companies' Proceeds" was published by
the European Parliament in September 2012. Authors
of the study were severely condemned by the Court
of Justice of Brussels and the study had to be
definitely removed by the European Parliament.
Authors of the study are
a consortium made of Ecorys and Case, represented
by Professors Jens Lowitzsch and Iraj Hashi. In
addition, the study seriously misled the Parliament
on two major points. More
2014 - Back
to fiscal incentives
is well known that fiscal incentives are the key
point for the development of employee share ownership.
Australia: The Labor Government decided
in 2009 to cut fiscal incentives for share option
plans, leading to a disaster for employee ownership
and entrepreneurship in Australia. Now they're
back: “We are reversing the changes that the
former government made in 2009 which essentially
stopped employee ownership in this country,”
Prime Minister Abbott said. Denmark: Fiscal
incentives on employee share plans were removed
in 2012. Now they're back: Legislative amendments
are presented in this sense to the Parliament.
The Netherlands and Greece: Fiscal incentives
were removed in 2012. When will reason come back
there? France: Surprising Government's
order removes the whole legislation which formerly
encouraged employee share ownership in case of
privatisations. At the same time, the British
Government recently doubled fiscal incentives
for employee share plans in the UK, as a key element
of recovery. And former European Commissioner
Michel Barnier just launched a call in the British
and French press, telling that "Europe can
only gain if we embrace employee share ownership",
and calling the new European Commission to bring
support in this sense. More
information in our press review
2014 - Manifesto
2014: Fiscal incentives are indispensable
Worldwide practical evidence and
a wide range of academic research support
the view that a proper legal environment
and the provision of suitable fiscal incentives
are indispensable prerequisites for any
policy truly aiming the development of employee
such evidence and research also show that
fiscal incentives always pay off medium/long
term and in many ways.
Organisations promoting employee owner-ship
around the world have demanded persistently
and consistently supportive legislations
including fiscal incentives for the common
good (evidenced in additional growth and
profitability, the spread of wealth, contribution
to economic and social stability).
New fiscal incentives pave the way to new
encouraging development, while political
decisions reducing or cutting such incentives
always lead to regression.
2014 - To
the new European Commission and Parliament
over the world, from the United States to China
and Africa, employee share ownership is highlighted
and promoted as a factor for boosting activity,
greater productivity and better results and social
balance for all. This is also true in the UK, where
fiscal incentives in this direction have been strongly
The development of employee share ownership can
be a major factor of investment and recovery, also
for the European Union. For the EU, this is the
right political choice to do.
to President Jean-Claude Juncker 17-9-2014
2014 - EFES'
Manifesto: Fiscal incentives are indispensable prequisites
Worldwide practical evidence and a
wide range of academic research support the
view that a proper legal environment and the
provision of suitable fiscal incentives are
indispensable prerequisites for any policy
truly aiming the development of employee share
such evidence and research also show that
fiscal incentives always pay off medium/long
term and in many ways.
Organizations promoting employee owner-ship
around the world have demanded persistently
and consistently supportive legislations including
fiscal incentives for the common good (evidenced
in additional growth and profitability, the
spread of wealth, contribution to economic
and social stability).
New fiscal incentives pave the way to new
encouraging development, while political decisions
reducing or cutting such incentives always
lead to regression.
The EFES' Manifesto 2014 is soon to be published.
2014 - Strong
move in the UK
High fiscal incentives are the base of the successful
policy to promote employee ownership through ESOPs
(Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in the USA. In contradiction
with Europe, this allowed American public policies
to promote employee ownership in SMEs. Some 11.000
ESOP companies can be found in the USA compared
to only 300 quite similar cases in Europe.
It is now generally admitted in the UK that such
policy has also to be promoted here, leading to
higher productivity, greater levels of innovation
and outstanding financial performances. Finance
Bill 2014 designs two new tax reliefs to encourage
and support the shift to employee-owned companies:
Under the first
new tax relief, the sale of a controlling interest
in a business to an employee ownership trust, will
be entirely free from capital gains tax.
Under the second
tax relief, bonuses of up to £3.600 per tax year
paid to employees of companies controlled by an
employee ownership trust benefit from an income
These new incentives are still relatively modest
compared to those for ESOPs in the USA but the UK
is clearly showing the right way for all European
2014 - Transparency
It is usually considered in large European companies
that employee share ownership has to be developed,
leading to better performances and better governance.
Top Executives are commonly the first employees
to be encouraged in this way. More and more companies
have "shareholding guidelines", requiring
Top Executives to hold up to 100-300% of their annual
salary in shares of the company, so as to align
employees' and shareholders' interests. The 2.200
largest European companies employ some 8.800 Top
Executives, each of them owning 13 million Euro
on average in shares of his company. 77% of all
large European companies are fully transparent about
this (see graph). However, the lack of transparency
is flagrant in a number of European countries: Greece,
Luxemburg, Austria, Belgium, Germany and some others.
A detailed chapter about this can be found in the
European Survey of Employee Ownership in 2013. More
2014 - Listed
and non-listed companies
It was sometimes told, based on the observation
of specific examples, that non-listed employee-owned
companies could have been more resilient than others
through the financial crisis. Employee-owned companies
might have fared better. This idea is even a cornerstone
of the British Government's policy to build a wide
"employee-owned business sector" in the
UK. The picture is not the same when based on the
systematic comparison of all large
listed companies and all large non-listed
employee-owned companies in Europe. The graph hereafter
illustrates this through the case of employment
in both types of companies from 2006 to 2013. A
detailed chapter about this can be found in the
European Survey of Employee Ownership in 2013. More
whole information about employee ownership and
employee share plans, top
executives and common
employees in European companies,
governance and profit-sharing,
on boards and discrimination in
voting rights, and a comparison
companies and non-listed employee-owned
150 pages, 100 tables and graphs.
2014 - Discrimination in voting rights
There is no discrimination for or against employee
shareholders' voting rights in most European countries.
However, significant discrimination can be observed
in six countries. Employee shareholders' voting
rights are generally multiplied in France due to
the fact that shares enjoy a double voting right
when held for at least two years. At the contrary,
employee shareholders' voting rights suffer negative
discrimination in five other countries: Denmark,
Germany, Finland, Sweden and The Netherlands. Typical
cases there are companies issuing two classes of
shares, A-shares with 10 votes and B-shares with
1 vote. Controlling owners hold high voting shares
but employee share plans are based on low voting
ones. This way, employee shareholders' voting rights
are severely discriminated, in up to 45% of large
companies in Sweden. More
2014 - Still
more employee share plans in Europe
The EFES Survey of employee ownership in 2013 is
soon available, showing that still more and more
of European companies organize employee share plans.
In 2013, 85% of all large European companies had
employee share plans of all kinds, while 53% had
"broad-based" plans for all employees
and 63% had stock option plans... More
2014 - 266
billion Euros in 2013, just as before the financial
In 2013, the capital held by employees in European
companies increased by 32% to 266 billion Euro,
just the same level as before the financial crisis.
The stake held by employees rose to the top with
2.99% (see graph). This new increase was not mainly
due to new employee share plans (some 30% of all
large European companies launched new employee share
plans, as usual). The main reason is due to the
fact that share prices increased more in companies
having higher employee ownership, leading mechanically
to a higher average stake. This is remarkable. More
2014 - Policy
support increasing again and again in the UK
support for employee share plans will be doubled.
Fantastic news for the millions of employee shareholders.
Policy makers are increasingly embracing employee
ownership as a key sustainable business model. Recent
years saw a strong lobbying to favour "employee
ownership" (in short: employees having controlling
stake in SMEs) even at the detriment of "employee
share ownership" (in short: employees owning
minor stake in large listed companies). The British
Government decided to offer £ 50 million in this
sense and voices were even heard to express the
idea that support for employee share ownership in
large companies should be cut. However an additional
£ 25 million will go to further encouragement of
employee share plans. Amount of money employees
can save in Government approved SAYE employee share
plans will be doubled from £250 a month to £500
a month and for the SIP employee share plan it has
increased from £1,500 a year to £1,800 a year.
2013 - UK
Employee Ownership Index
UK Employee Ownership Index (EOI) has recently been
re-launched and from June 2013, it is calculated
by FTSE International. The index was created to
test a hypothesis that businesses with substantial
employee ownership perform well over the long term.
The UK Employee Ownership Index is an index of UK
public companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange.
Strangely, the picture the new EOI brings about
performance is quite different from the former Index...
2013 - Employee
representation on boards in Europe
representation on boards is highly sophisticated
in many large companies in France, either in Boards
of Directors or in Supervisory Boards. Altogether
employee representatives are present on boards covering
51% of employment in large French companies. This
is through unions or workers councils for 36% and
it is for 29% through employee shareholders representatives
(while both unions or workers councils and employee
shareholders are present in 14% of cases). A detailed
publication about employee representation on boards
is now available… More
2013 - Employee representation on Boards
representation on Boards is usual in many large
European companies, either in Boards of Directors
or in Supervisory Boards.
Employee shareholders are represented on Boards
in 13% of large French companies (but 29% in terms
of employment). Employee shareholders representation
on Boards is thus typical in French largest companies.
On the other hand, employee representation on Boards
is usual for 36% of employees in large European
companies (See Graph). This is the case for 95%
of employees in large companies in Austria, Germany
or Slovenia. In France, it is the case for 51% of
employees in large companies (just over the European
average), while it is only the case for 2.3% in
the UK… and 0% in Italy.
The EFES database of large European companies gathered
initially all information about employee share ownership
in the 2.200 largest European companies (25% of
all listed companies in Europe but 94% in terms
of employment and 97% in terms of capitalization).
The EFES database is now extended to corporate governance
detailed publication about employee representation
on Boards is now available.
2013 - European Trade Union Institute
A dedicated Internet site worker-participation.eu
was set up as "the gateway to information on
worker participation issues in Europe", a remarkable
work by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).
It is about employee participation which includes
the following pieces: Trade unions, collective bargaining,
workplace representation, board-level representation,
European-level representation, representation in
the area of health and safety, and finally employee
financial participation. In the European unions'
vision, employee share ownership belongs to employee
financial participation, which has two main branches:
Profit-sharing and employee share ownership. Profit-sharing
is considered as "the simplest form of financial
participation. This can be understood as a collective
regulation that, in addition to the stipulated wage,
provides a variable income dependent on enterprise
profits" – Variable pay, in fact. Finally,
employee share ownership appears in the European
unions' vision as the last piece of this participative
2013 - European Commission's Action Plan
for employee share ownership
The European Commission recently published its
new Action Plan. In summary, the following actions
will be taken:
The Commission will analyse the subject
in more details.
The Commission will identify which
initiatives may be appropriate to encourage the
development of trans-national employee share ownership
schemes in Europe.
The Commission will identify and investigate
potential obstacles to trans-national employee share
Subsequently the Commission will take
appropriate action to encourage employee share ownership
Full details about this new action plan are available
2013 - Rectification
about European Parliament's study
The European Parliament – Economic & Scientific
Policy Department published a study named "Employee
Financial Participation and Companies' Proceeds".
This study published by the European Parliament
was quoted by the European Commission as the most
recent element of the "European background",
in its call for tender for the implementation of
the European Pilot Project for the Promotion of
Employee Ownership and Participation… More
2013 - For the first time since
the financial crisis occurred...
… the number of employee shareholders in Europe
didn't increase last year, and the democratization
rate of employee ownership went down.
A new differentiation appears between top executives
and other employees since the beginning of the crisis.
The share held by common employees is continuously
decreasing since 2009. At the contrary, top executives
increased their share in companies' capital. As
a consequence, the average capitalization held by
each of the 8.845 top executives in large European
companies raised to 9,1 million Euro in 2012, compared
to the average capitalization of 11.500 Euro held
by each of the 9,6 million common employee shareholders.
This picture of a first decrease in the democratization
of employee ownership since the financial crisis
may be related to some recent negative political
orientations decided in a number of European countries
regarding employee share ownership, for instance
in Ireland, The Netherlands, France, or even in
In addition, nothing effective
was made for the promotion of employee share ownership
in Eastern and Southern Europe.
These are the
main conclusion of the new Economic Survey of employee
ownership in European countries in 2012.
2013 - Australia: Employee share ownership weakened
by government legislation
Employee share plans have been widely hit over the
last four years by government legislation resulting
in a significant drop in employee ownership while
adding complexity for companies. According to a
new report by the Employee Ownership Australia and
New Zealand (EOA) the number of employees participating
in employee share plans and the amount of capital
they are investing in these plans has been "substantially
2013 - A new film on employee ownership in the USA
What does it mean to be an employee owner? We
the Owners: Employees Expanding the American Dream
tells the story of three employee-owned companies:
New Belgium Brewing, Namasté Solar and DPR Construction.
ESOP companies are the most typical way for employee
ownership in the USA (an ESOP is an Employee Stock
Ownership Plan). This model is particularly designed
for business transfers to employees. In this sense,
it is clearly the most effective in the world, being
shaped as a pension plan with strong tax incentives
for both family owners (selling the company to employees)
and employees (buying usually 100% of the company
for peanuts). More
2013 - New era for employee share plans in
The British government has given the green light
to substantial simplification and reform of all
four approved share ownership schemes during the
course of the next 15 months. This follows the exhaustive
review of the approved schemes by the Office of
Tax Simplification, which concluded that major changes
had to be made quickly to head off strangulation
of the employee share ownership sector by overregulation
and excessive bureaucracy. More
2013 - New support from the European Union
Both European Commission and Parliament will
bring more support for employee ownership in 2013.
The European budget was voted by the European Parliament,
including a budget heading for a pilot project for
the setting up of a Center for Employee Ownership
in each Member State, to deliver information, education
and promotion of adequate legislation. In addition,
the European Commission announced its Action Plan
to modernize European company law and corporate
governance, including measures on employee share
ownership. More details
2012 - A
new wave for employee ownership across Europe
A new wave boosting employee share ownership
seems growing from major European countries. Great
Britain: Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson
told that the British Government will do all in
its power’ to extend employee share ownership substantially
within the UK. "We have to eliminate the barriers
which inhibit the installation of employee share
schemes and employee ownership in UK businesses",
she said. "Over the years employee ownership
and employee share ownership have not been nearly
as far up government agendas as they should have
been. For the workforce is our human capital and
must be encouraged accordingly", said Ms Swinson.
"Much more employee share ownership was needed
now in large and small companies alike, because
such schemes were an important factor in economic
growth" the minister told to the Employee Share
Ownership Center in London. France: President
François Hollande announced a new legislation for
employee share ownership and participation. Germany:
As promised by Minister Philipp Rösler, the German
Ministry of Economics and Technology launched a
new Internet portal for employee ownership. Italy:
Waiting for a new law on participation and employee
ownership. The Parliament appointed the Government
at the end of June, but the white smoke is still
awaited in Rome.
2012 - British
Government's plans to boost employee ownership sector
British Government announces its plans to boost
employee ownership sector. The plans include assessing
whether to establish an independent Institute for
Employee Ownership, an ‘off the shelf’ model for
setting up an employee owned business, work to examine
the guidance on tax issues relating to employee
ownership, a guide for staff and employers to request
and agree an employee ownership takeover and work
with the John Lewis Partnership to examine the barriers
to funding for private sector employee owned companies.
2012 - Employee
owner or sub-employee owner?
To be or not to be? We are still in the UK of course.
Every day brings its new ideas to boost employee
ownership. Chancellor George Osborne announced the
new "employee-owner" contract: Employees
could be given shares in their companies in exchange
for giving up certain employment rights under plans
for a new type of employment contract. Storm of
controversy! Would you trade your employment rights
for shares? "Osborne's announcement is a big
boost to employee ownership scheme", the Employee
Ownership Association said. And again: "Employee
ownership is now being embraced as the most prominent
alternative to the over-dominant PLC model and its
inherent short-termism." The National Center
for Employee Ownership said Chancellor Osborne’s
proposals were "awful", a “very bad idea”
and that no “rational person” would give up employment
rights for a small capital gains tax break. Finally,
most employee ownership organizations agreed that
the rights of workers couldn't be reduced in order
to grow employee ownership. See press
review for all details
2012 - Employee
Would you like investing in a financial tool
if it is not transparent? Hopefully not! The Employee
Ownership Index is published in the UK by a law
firm in London. It shows that companies in the EO
Index outperform FTSE All-Share companies over the
long term by an average of 10% each year since the
EO Index began (see graph). Not bad!!! Our question
to this law firm was: "Which companies belong
to the Index?" Here is the answer: "I'm
afraid we don't give out the names of companies
in the index". Maybe the only stock index in
the world whose components are unknown. Would you
like to comment on this or ask your own questions,
use this link
2012 - A new era
of capitalism in the UK
The British Government announces a new era of
capitalism. "Never before, employee ownership
had so much attention in the UK", Minister
for Employment Norman Lamb said. They are going
"to shift employee ownership into the mainstream
of corporate Britain". On the other hand, the
British administration for Revenue & Customs
(HMRC) launched a public consultation about employee
share plans. Something should be done in priority
about employee share plans in large companies, as
the comparison with France shows. This is appearing
EFES answer to the HMRC consultation
2012 - Typology
of employee ownership
Based on empirical and statistical observation,
a typology of employee ownership can be identified:
Up to 1% employee ownership appears to be insignificant
or embryonic, over 1% it is becoming significant,
over 6% it is strategic, over 20% it is determining,
and over 50% it is controlling. Of course, here
is a link with corporate governance issues. It is
remarkable that employee ownership appears to be
strategic, determining or controlling, not only
in small and medium sized enterprises, but even
in a high number of the largest European companies.
2012 - Employee Ownership Summit 2012
British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg together
with Ministers Norman Lamb and Francis Maude organized
the first Employee Ownership Summit on July 4 in
London. "We are completely enthusiastic about
employee ownership" Norman Lamb said. "Never
before, employee ownership had so much attention
in the UK." It is a fact that the British legislation
for employee ownership revealed itself to be much
less effective than the French one. More
2012 - Key recommendations to the British
Growing the economy is the British
Government's most pressing priority. The Government
adviser on employee ownership published its report,
including his 28 recommendations to promote employee
ownership in the UK. The recommendations focus mainly
on the promotion of employee ownership in small
and medium sized enterprises, at least 25% employee-owned.
2012 - The Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership
The British Government adviser on employee
ownership publishes its report, including his 28
recommendations to promote employee ownership
in the UK, in line with the British Governments'
aim of shifting employee ownership into the mainstream
of corporate Britain. The
Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership
- UK: 2 - 1
ownership is developing and growing in all European
countries. The UK and France were the leading countries
in this move. On average, companies in the UK and
in France launched their first employee share plans
at the same time, around 1995 (including Britain's
John Lewis in 1929).
Today, most large companies have broad-based employee
share plans in both countries. While 53.4% of companies
are doing so in Europe, it is 80 to 90% in the UK
and in France.
some 15 years after the first plans were launch,
results look quite different in the UK and in France.
Considering the capitalization held by employee
owners, it is 2.83% in Europe, but it is 5.04% in
France compared to 2.49% in the UK – only one half.
In addition, the number of employee owners is much
higher in France than in the UK. Today, France tells
4 million employee owners compared to 10 million
across Europe, while it is only 2.6 million in the
the democratization rate of employee ownership (the
percentage of employee owners amongst all employees)
is still much lower in the UK than it is in France.
a consequence, it has to be noticed that employee
owners' involvement in corporate governance seems
growing stronger in France than in the UK.
a conclusion, it is obvious that the legislations
both countries implemented for some 30 years led
to significant differences, the French one appearing
as more effective than the British.
June 2012 - The
European Parliament at work
During the public hearing we organised in the
European Pa rliament on March 22, we asked for a
dedicated budget heading of 2.5 million Euro for
the promotion of employee ownership across Europe.
A clear, simple, cheap proposal. It will allow information
centers about employee ownership to be organised
in every member state of the EU. This is the key-point
to combat obstacles to multinational employee share
plans, a condition for "a single market for
employee ownership". Now the Parliament is
working. We hope an effective decision will be taken.
June 2012 - Democratization
rate of employee ownership in Europe
The democratization rate of employee ownership
is calculated as the proportion of employee owners
among all employees. It was continuously rising
in European companies for 30 years and even through
the recent financial crisis (see graph). It was
30.1% in 2011, which means that one-third of all
employees are now co-owners of their company. This
rate of democratization should still increase to
50-60% in the near future. More
May 2012 - Report
of the public hearing in the European Parliament
Report of the public hearing is now available.
The public hearing in the European Parliament
was held on March 22 thanks to Pervenche Berès,
Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social
Affairs and with Commissioner for Internal Market
A budget proposal was laid on the table of the
Parliament for supporting the development of
employee ownership in all European countries…
the full Report
May 2012 - Survey
of Employee ownership in European countries in 2011
The new Survey is now available. It is based on
the census of employee ownership in each of all
2.505 largest European companies, employing 32,8
million people in 2011. Content: Main findings of
census 2011, more than 50 tables and graphs, democratization
ratio of employee ownership in various European
countries, relative shares of Top Executives and
other employees, list of most remarkable cases...
A letter from François Hollande
and another from Nicolas Sarkozy
A letter from François Hollande answering
to the French federation of employee shareholders'
from Nicolas Sarkozy
April 2012 - Commissioner
Barnier: Employee ownership,
symbol of social cohesion
Employee ownership is a symbol of the social
cohesion which Europe needs in this time. It has
to be supported at all levels. This was the conclusion
expressed by the European Commissioner for Internal
Market Michel Barnier and the President of the Commission
for Employment and Social Affairs of the European
Parliament, Pervenche Berès, after the public hearing
held in the European Parliament on March 22. A budget
proposal was laid on the table of the Parliament
for supporting the development of employee ownership
in all European countries… More
April 2012 - Employee
ownership in European countries in 2011
Capital held by employee owners in European companies
raised to 232 billion Euro in 2011, not so far from
its highest in 2007, and the share held by employees
in their companies increased to 2.83%, going back
to its positive trend (see graph hereafter). More
March 2012 - Employee
ownership in European countries in 2011
The most recent numbers show that employee ownership
was continuously progressing across Europe since
the financial crisis. This is the main conclusion
of the new "Economic Survey of Employee Ownership
in European Countries in 2011". The conclusion
was the same in 2010, this is thus a confirmation.
In 2011, 9.9 million employee owners held 232 billion
Euro in their companies' shares compared to 9.5
million holding 197 billion Euro one year before.
The number of employee owners increased more in
Spain, Sweden, Denmark and France, while it was
decreasing in Italy, Greece and Portugal as well
as in Germany, Belgium and Ireland.
The survey brings exhaustive information. It is
based on the census of the 2.505 largest European
companies employing 32.8 million people in 2011.
February 2012 - Public
hearing in the European Parliament on March 22
The European Economic and Social Committee recently
launched a call on the European institutions and
governments for a renewed initiative supported by
the EU budget through a dedicated budget heading.
Such a budget should help to set up and finance
a European Center for Employee Ownership in each
European country, to deliver information, training
and advice to employees, enterprises and the public
at large. The public hearing in the Parliament on
March 22 will be the opportunity for a budget proposal.
of the hearing Budget
December 2011 - Employee
share ownership and the EU corporate governance
In 2011, the European Commission published a
Green Paper and they organized a public consultation
about the EU Corporate Governance Framework. Question
23 was about employee ownership: "Are there
measures to be taken, and is so, which ones, to
promote at EU level employee share ownership?"
Many companies, enterprises organizations, unions,
organizations of the civil society and public authorities
answered the consultation. About employee share
ownership, the Commission received 252 answers
from 34 countries. It is remarkable that answers
are globally positive. In fact, the global quote
is positive at 65%. However, it is sad that the
question was ambiguous: Many people answered positively,
supporting the idea that employee ownership should
be promoted by the EU, while others gave negative
answers fearing that the EU could restrict their
freedom in the field (for example, most Swedish
companies gave the same hard negative answer). More
December 2011 - Curriculum
Library on Employee Ownership (CLEO)
CLEO, is the largest online academic repository
of teaching and background materials on employee
ownership. CLEO offers over 500 materials (e.g.,
books, articles, cases, teaching modules, etc.)
to help with research and teaching on a broad range
of topics on employee ownership; more recent newly
developed works and educational cases, syllabi,
and curriculum; teaching modules and reading collections
with suggested relevant materials. More information
November 2011 - The
EU Corporate Governance Framework
The European Commission organized a public consultation
about "The EU Corporate Governance Framework".
All contributions are now public, including ours.
Question 23 is about employee ownership: "Are
there measures to be taken, and is so, which ones,
to promote at EU level employee share ownership?"
Of course we answered positively, arguing that "Employees'
interest in the long-term sustainability of their
company is going to be increasingly a crucial element
of trust and corporate governance. Not only can
employee owners contribute greatly to increase the
proportion of long-term shareholders, but we will
also see that employee ownership itself will be
more and more perceived as a trust indicator."
We are delighted to see that so many organizations
too gave encouraging answers, including international
unions like ETUC or UNI. All contributions are available
while the EFES' one can be downloaded here
November 2011 -
Euroshareholders is the organization of European
shareholders associations. It was founded in 1992
while the European Federation of Employee Share
Ownership was founded in 1998. Both organizations
developed a good cooperation for many years, considering
a number of common objectives regarding corporate
governance in Europe, shareholders' rights and equal
treatment of all shareholders, harmonization at
the EU level on shareholders issues, financial education
and scientific research on capital market and finance.
Both organizations recently decided to reinforce
their links. The recent general meeting of Euroshareholders
in The Hague welcomed the EFES as a new associate
member, while Euroshareholders will reciprocally
join the EFES. More information
October 2011 - New call from the European institutions
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held
"the week of employee financial participation"
some days ago in Brussels. The EESC is the body
that gives representatives of Europe's social partners
and civil society a formal platform to express their
points of views on EU issues. A new call was launched
for developing employee ownership in European companies.
Each Member State of the EU should made available
"an optional simple, uniform incentive model,
with the same tax arrangements and incentives throughout
the EU". This is mainly targetting an harmonized
and easiest way for multinational employee share
The "ESOP model" for business transmission
to employees in SMEs should be implemented in the
European Union, as it is successfully in the USA
since 1974. This is the only relevant way to develop
employee ownership in SMEs.
A dedicated budget heading should be voted by the
European Parliament, allowing the setting up and
financing of a European Center for Employee Ownership
in each European country, for delivering information,
formation and advices to employees, enterprises
and the public at large.
2011 - Two particular organizations in the UK
particular organizations has had a major influence
on the popularity of employee ownership in the UK.
The first was founded in 1979, with the help of
the John Lewis Partnership, Scott Bader and other
companies, and originally established as a consultancy,
known as Job Ownership Ltd. It was the brainchild
of Robert Oakeshott, who died in June this year.
Robert was a founder member of the European Federation
of Employee Share Ownership in 1998. It changed
later its name to the Employee Ownership Association,
acting as "the voice of co-owned business in
the UK". The second organization known as ifs ProShare was founded
(originally as ProShare) in 1992 by HM
Treasury, the London Stock Exchange and a consortium
of major companies. It provides "a voice for
the Employee Share Ownership (ESO)
industry in the UK".
2011 - Talvivaara
employees of Talvivaara Mining Company resolved
on 18 June 2011 to establish a Group personnel fund
to manage the earnings bonuses paid by Talvivaara.
The fund will invest a substantial proportion of
its assets in Talvivaara shares. The fund is managed
by personnel representatives elected by the employees.
Personnel funds are a typical way in Finland for
employee share ownership in large companies.
2011 - European
Top Executives massively buying own company shares
the fire sale of shares on the stock exchange, a
strong phenomenon has developed in recent weeks:
European Top Executives are massively buying their
own company shares.
can be seen in the hundreds of releases of "insider
dealing". In Italy roundup of Eni, Enel, Mediobanca,
IntesaSanpaolo, Indesit and dozens of others. Top
Executives buying millions of shares. The same in
Germany with Metro, BASF… In Sweden with Husqvarna…
In France Air Liquide, Alcatel-Lucent ... Same
at Barclays, Shell... All major companies are affected.
two words: The short-termists sinking into panic,
long-term investors and Top Executives at first
take the opportunity to buy cheap.
about the ordinary employee? What's good for Executives
should be good for employees too.
any legislation promoting a simple and convenient
employee ownership model is still lacking in too
many European countries.
are the worst performers of the European class in
this area? Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain. Yes,
we find here the same list of countries that are
stigmatized in the crisis of Euro interest rates.
These countries need structural changes, including
the development of employee share ownership. Also
in the back of the classroom: Belgium, The Netherlands
and most Central and Eastern European countries.
consequence of this lack of legislation: In all
these countries, only 10 to 15% of employees are
shareholders of large companies, compared to 30%
on average in Europe. For good students, it rises
to 25, 30 or 50%. These are Norway, Switzerland,
Finland, Great Britain, Sweden, France. It is remarkable
that over the last10 years, employee share ownership
has become an ingredient of the "Nordic model".
the European social partners have launched an appeal
to governments. The European Economic and Social
Committee took this initiative. The Committee brings
together European business representatives, trade
unions and civil society. The opinion is clear and
at large enterprises, each European country should
introduce into its legislation a "simplified
model" of employee share ownership, making
its development stronger and easier.
at small and medium sized enterprises, each European
country should encourage the transfer of business
to employees, following the example of what the
U.S. has established since 1974 with the "ESOP
model", allowing employees to buy their business
without paying a cent, with a long-term credit.
strength and consistency of employee share ownership
will be more and more one of the factors and one
of the characteristic elements of good governance
in European companies, of better economic performance
and regained trust.
opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee
is available on page http://www.efesonline.org/EESC/EN.htm
2011 - New research on the impact of employee ownership
A new research in the USA on the impact of employee
ownership is the largest study ever on the connections
among various forms of shared capitalism, organizational
culture, and company performance. On the other hand,
an important collection of essays edited by
the economists Richard Freeman, Joseph Blasi and
Douglas Kruse and published last year by the National
Bureau of Economic Research documents several crucial
points: About half of all private-sector workers
already have some kind of sharing arrangement with
their employers; sharing tends to make employees
happier, more productive and better off, as long
as they do not take on too much risk by over-investing
in the company they work for, and companies often
benefit as well, showing improved performance along
several different dimensions. In addition, a large
sample of publicly traded companies in the United
States from 1999 to 2008, offers evidence that companies
with employee ownership showed greater employment
stability in face of economic downturn. Read
2011 - Exercising Employee Shareholders' Rights
in European Companies - Dircredito European Project
For all of you who participated to the project or
attended to our Conference in Rome, let me give
my warmest thank you.
As many among you already know, we agreed that it
could be useful to disseminate the contents of our
project as much as possible, by leaving on the Internet
also the complete filings of the Conference, by
text as well as on Audio Video uploaded on You Tube.
This way those who could not attend may receive
the same information, and feel the mood from this
Go on www.employeeshare.eu
and surf! You can find and download also the "INCONTRI"
special issue as well as the articles published
by Italian Press.
Time flows: it has been very interesting to meet
in Rome in September 2010 in order to exchange experiences,
nine months later it could be even more interesting
to listen again to our presentations and to the
Round Table debate, keeping in mind the evolution
of facts in this period.
A special thank to all of our speakers for giving
the authorization to publish texts and Audio Video,
thus making it possible to build this unique long
time lasting file.
Guido Antolini Dircredito Project Manager
2011 - Employee ownership
was continuously progressing across Europe since
the financial crisis
number of employee owners was nearly 10 million
in 2010 in large European companies (out of 32.6
million employees). The number of companies that
have employee ownership was increasing (91.7%),
as well as those having share plans for all employees
(53.7%) and those with stock option plans (64.1%).
However, significant differences can be seen between
countries: A significant increase in the number
of employee owners in Spain, Poland, France and
the Nordic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland),
contrasting with a significant decrease in Belgium,
Ireland and The Netherlands.
Overall, the capitalization held by employee owners
rose back to 192 billion Euro in 2010. In % held,
there was a slight decline for the first time for
many years (from 2.82% to 2.71%). However, the share
held by Top Executives has increased, while it is
the "common" employees who have seen their
All details are to be published in May in the next
"Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European
Countries in 2010". Download
2011 - A European Single Market
for employee ownership
European Commissioner Michel Barnier organised a
vast consultation about the new "Single Market
Act". The single market is all about bringing
down barriers and simplifying existing rules across
Europe. It would also include a European single
market for employee ownership. Read
2011 - Employee ownership improves
There is a lot of social science evidence today
that shows the combination of meaningful broad-based
employee ownership with a team-oriented corporate
culture improves company performance. Many research
works have been done in the U.S. for long. A first
econometric work is now also available about French
companies: According to the Center for Strategic
Analysis, the social performance of a company having
employee share ownership is 52% higher than that
of companies which have neither employee share ownership
nor employee savings plan. Read
2011 - voestalpine Employee Participation
Since the year 2000, the management and the works
council of the voestalpine Group have been engaged
in the joint development of an innovative concept
that surprised many at the time. The idea was to
let the employees participate in the company through
shares owned by them, to turn them into a stable
core shareholder by pooling their voting rights,
and to allow them to benefit from the success of
voestalpine as individual shareholders. Read
2011 - Presidency of the European Union Council
– Conference on employee ownership
The conference expressed its support to the European
Economic and Social Committee, asking for:
● Regarding large companies: Each European
country should make available "an optional
simple, uniform incentive model, with the same tax-arrangements
and incentives throughout the EU".
● Regarding SMEs: Each European country
should strongly encourage business transmission
to employees as the USA did since 1974 – this is
the concept of a "European ESOP model"
The report of the conference is now available. Read
2011 - Center for Strategic Analysis of the
According to the Center for Strategic Analysis of
the French Republic, the social performance of a
company having employee share ownership is 52% higher
than that of companies which have neither employee
share ownership nor employee savings plan. The effectiveness
of employee share ownership has to be reinforced
by ensuring the representation of employee shareholders.
2011 - Controversy about employee ownership in the
John Lewis Partnership was usually described as
the best reference regarding employee ownership
in the UK. How does it work really? Across government
a siren call is sounding, promoting the John Lewis
model of employee ownership as a way of modernising
public services. "But John Lewis is not what
it purports to be", an expert said. "It’s
not an employee run company. The interesting thing
when one looks carefully at the documents that lay
behind that structure it is very difficult to discern
who it is that has responsibility for the appointment
and removal of directors of the trustee company.
In a sense that is almost a self-serving oligarchy
in that it’s the board of directors on the company
that appear on the panel that appoint and remove
the directors and the shareholders of the trust."
2011 - New study shows broad-based Stock Option
Plans improve performance
One of the most comprehensive and convincing studies
to date on the effect of broad-based option plans
on company performance was recently released. Looking
at non-executive options and the subsequent firm
operating performance as measured by the firm's
industry adjusted ROA, the authors found that "both
the existence of a broad based option plan and the
implied incentives of an option plan exert a positive
effect on firm performance..." By contrast,
companies with grants focused on executives did
Welcome amendments to the Prospectus
Directive for employee share plans will be in force
by July 2011
We have previously reported on proposed amendments
to the Prospectus Directive - in particular to the
exemption from the requirement to publish a prospectus
in relation to an offering made under an employee
share scheme. The amending Directive has now been
published in the Official Journal of the European
Union and will take effect from 31 December 2010.
It must be implemented by Member States within 18
Masons outlines the main changes as they relate
to employee share plans
Twelve Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP (and Seven
the years, we have heard a lot of unconvincing reasons
not to do an ESOP—and some very good ones, too.
Unfortunately, too many business owners decided
not to do an ESOP for the wrong reasons. Our goal
is not to convince anyone to implement an ESOP (or
any other employee stock plan). Employee ownership
can grow and prosper only if companies put in these
plans for the right reasons... Twelve
Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP (and Seven Good
Ones) - from the NCEO
2010 - European Economic and Social Committee
European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is
the body that gives representatives of Europe's
social partners and civil society a formal platform
to express their points of views on EU issues. It
has a key role to play in the Union's decision-making
process. It is now preparing an own-initiative opinion
on Employee Financial Participation. This
SOC/371 opinion can be downloaded here in all languages
The concept of financial participation
by employees is experiencing an astonishing upturn
in Europe. However, only a handful of countries
have seen financial participation by employees introduced
on a scale that can be considered as representing
a significant proportion of the working population.
The following points therefore need to be highlighted:
European Commission's approach – The models should be open to all employees and should
not replace existing forms of remuneration, but
instead supplement them. Additional substantive
measures are needed to promote such broad-based
– Employee participation boosts the competitiveness
of European companies by rooting them down in the
region, raising productivity and promoting sustainability.
Its role an entrepreneurial instrument should be
a European model – The modular "building block approach" provides the starting
point for a European model.
successions in SMEs – The "Employee Stock Ownership Plan" (ESOP) is
a collective employee capital participation scheme,
run by a trust, which for the past 50 years has
proven to be a successful instrument for managing
company succession in the USA.
intervention and participation – Recommendations: Expansion of employee participation
to compensate for state support (for example, the
case of Opel). Promotion of employee takeovers through
lending activities by banks which have received
of optional tax incentives to promote employee participation – Tax incentives are not
an indispensable precondition for employee participation,
but they have undoubtedly had a positive impact
in the countries that offer them.
The opinion will prepare the ground:
a recommendation of the European Council on a European
platform for employee participation, based on the
modular "building block approach".
incorporation of employee participation in the Regulation
of the Council on the European Private Company Statute,
as well as in the activities connected with the
"Small Business Act".
development of a concept for the European Investment
Bank, encouraging it to link any increases in loan
volume for SMEs to the introduction of employee
participation, especially the ESOP approach for
financing company successions.
2010 - Encouraging
times for employee ownership in Europe
French annual survey about employee savings was
just published: Employee savings rebounded in 2009.
The new British annual survey 2009 came at the same
time: Share schemes popularity booms in the UK.
There's been a big increase in share ownership through
employee savings schemes. The EFES' own Annual Economic
Survey 2009 confirms for all European countries.
On the other hand, social partners are preparing
a new opinion about employee financial participation
in the framework of the European Economic and Social
2010 - European conferences in Rome
and in Brussels
Two major European conferences will be held
in Rome on September
16-17 and in Brussels
on November 26, 2010. The conference in Rome
is about "Exercising employee shareholders'
rights in European companies". Which are the
good practices? Which models, which obstacles across
Europe? Could it
be more effective? The conference in Brussels
will be part of the programme of the Belgian Presidency
of the European Union – "Ten years of public
policies for employee ownership in Europe
– past, present, future". Read
2010 - A cat is a cat
A cat is a cat. This is the present debate in
the European Internet Forum on Employee Ownership.
The financial crisis brings new political awareness
about employee ownership which increasingly appears
the best option for its contribution to healthier
corporate governance, long term vision and stability.
The old concept of employee financial participation
appears now obsolete and confusing. It's easy for
you to join the Forum. Read more
2010 - Gnashing of teeth in
transposition of the Shareholders Rights Directive
sets teeth on edge in France. The member
states of the European Union have to transpose the
Directive into their national legislation. This
one aims to facilitate and encourage effective shareholder
control in EU companies. However, France failed to implement it in due
time. Furthermore, the transposition project by
the Ministry of Justice brings new difficulties
and obstacles. Read
2010 - Democratizing employee ownership
Every large European company has 4 Top Executives
on average, each holding 6.475.000 € in his company
in 2009. Most large European companies have now
employee share plans. Most of them express the idea
that employee ownership should be increased in order
to align employees and shareholders' interests.
However, most companies began with share plans for
Top Executives. This is to be compared with 9.3
million common employee owners, each holding 10.000
€ in 2009. Many discussions occurred recently about
Executives' remunerations. What about ownership?
2010 - Employee shareholders rights
in European companies
Which are the good practices? Which models,
which obstacles across Europe? Could it be more
effective? A European Report will be written with
the support of the European Commission and a European
Conference will be held in Rome on September 16-17,
2010. It will contribute to open a new door for
social dialogue and corporate governance items.
Here the new dedicated website
2010 - European employees took advantage of lower
2008 2007 2006
9.3 million 9 million
Employees' share in ownership structure
2.86% 2.79% 2.75% 2.43%
Capitalisation held by employees
166 billion € 249 billion €
291 billion € 213 billion €
% European companies having employee ownership
91% 83.8% 81.4%
% European companies having broad-based plans
53.1% 50.9% 49%
% European companies having launched new plans
30.3% 35.3% 26.5%
In short: European employees took advantage of lower
share prices to increase their share. This is the
main conclusion of the new Economic Survey of Employee
Ownership in the European Countries in 2009 which
will be soon published. More
2010 - Go ahead
ownership is a hot debate in the campaign for national
election in the UK (see press review). From Paris,
the new European Commissioner for Internal Market,
Michel Barnier expressed his own positive will:
"I am going to make a set of proposals for
better corporate governance: Better transparency,
better say from shareholders about executives' remuneration,
better place for employee ownership…" Go ahead
Michel !!… More
2010 - Happy end in Italy
Each European country is now busy with the transposition
of McCreevy Directive about shareholders rights.
In a first stage, this transposition put Italian
employee shareholders associations in danger. Fortunately,
the new legislation finally maintains their role.
new common logo for workers' cooperatives in France
French Confederation of Workers' Cooperatives launched
a new common logo for all French workers' coops.
January 2010 - 2010 a key year
will be a key year in Europe for employee ownership
at political level. After the European Parliament,
it is now time for the new European Commission to
be appointed. We sent a letter to the new Commissioners…
2009 - Exercising employee shareholders'
rights in European companies
Which are the good practices? Which models,
which obstacles across Europe? Could it be more
effective? A European Report will be written with
the support of the European Commission, and a European
Conference will be held in Rome in June 2010. More
2009 - Australian Employee Buyout
The Australian Employee Buyout Centre is in
the process of starting up. Its mission is to preserve,
protect and enhance jobs through employee ownership.
2009 - You can make your contribution
We will be able to continue our information
work thanks to your support. This is why we call
for your contribution. More
2009 - Conference chaired by Lech Walesa
Employee ownership is back on the agenda in
Poland. A conference was held in Warsaw with the
European Federation of Employee Share Ownership
on November 16. Pictures
of the conference
2009 - Maybe a historic step
Crisises are typical moments for new ideas.
Last summer, we saw German unions changing their
minds about employee ownership, considering it as
a tool against the financial crisis, and demanding
capital stakes in troubled companies. "Arbeitnehmer
sind die besseren Aktionäre" (the best shareholders
are employee shareholders)!
Now it is in the USA: Last month, the United Steelworkers
(USW) and Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa announced
a framework agreement for collaboration to establish
Unions are usually quite reluctant about employee
ownership. This is normal. It is well the unions'
role to defend workers against risks. Ownership
is a risky matter, and this is also true for employee
Highlighting the differences between Employee Stock
Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and union co-ops, USW President
Leo Gerard said, "We have lots of experience
with ESOPs, but have found that it doesn't take
long for the Wall Street types to push workers aside
and take back control. We see Mondragon's cooperative
model with "one worker, one vote" ownership
as a means to re-empower workers and make business
accountable to Main Street instead of Wall Street."
accountability… This is about governance, pointing
out that ownership is not only a risk but also the
ability to have a say. Probably your risk is even
higher when you don't have any say.
October 2009 - Effervescence in Italy about McCreevy's
Directive on shareholders' rights
in Italy. For now, each European country is in the
process of transposing the "McCreevy's Directive"
on shareholders' rights. In Italy, the transposition
threat to remove the associations of shareholders.
The federation of shareholders' associations CONAPA
convenes its congress on November 10. Detailed information Letter to Minister Sacconi Letter to the Treasury and to the CONSOB
2009 - New course in Germany, discussions in Italy
Things are changing quickly. Until recently,
Germany was quite reluctant about employee ownership.
It's only just since April that a new legislation
was in force and employee ownership is already again
on the agenda, with German trade unions promoting
employee ownership as a tool against the financial
crisis, and demanding capital stakes in troubled
companies. However, employers' organisations seem
more cautious. Whatever next !? Same situation in
Italy: Minister Sacconi convened social partners
to a roundtable about employee financial participation,
getting positive reactions from the unions' side
but cautiousness from employers. In Poland, Vice-Prime
Minister Pawlak prepares a new privatisation phase
based on employee ownership. Who's next?
2009 - New course in Germany, new course for Europe
recently, Germany was quite reluctant about employee
ownership. Things are now changing. The German Ministry of Employment
& Social Affairs launch a dedicated website
and an excellent brochure promoting employee ownership.
German trade unions are discovering employee ownership
as a tool against the financial crisis. Demanding a capital stake in a troubled
company is fast becoming a powerful rallying cry
- "Arbeitnehmer sind die besseren Aktionäre"
(the best shareholders are employees !). Now that
most big European countries feel positive, the whole
political picture could change in a positive way
for employee ownership at European Union level.
2009 - Proposal
to the new European Parliament
10 years of (no) European policy, time has come
to assess the situation and to re-launch a dynamic
policy for developing employee ownership across
Europe. 150 Members of the European Parliament and
leaders from all political parties expressed their
support to the Employee Ownership Manifesto for
the 2009 European elections. Healthier economy,
sustainability, better governance are the key points
in most supporting messages from all parties. Proposal
to the new Parliament
2009 - 150 Members of the European Parliament
150 Members of the European Parliament and candidates
from all political parties answered our Manifesto
for the European elections. The last ten years saw
a strong development of employee ownership in European
companies. Strangely, this happened while a European
policy for the promotion and the development of
employee ownership was completely lacking. It is
time to reconsider things and to relaunch a real
European policy. This is a role for the new European
Parliament. Detailed information
2009 - Employee ownership or not employee ownership
in the auto industry
For the first time Washington is looking to employee
ownership in a unique form at Chrysler -- employees
will have a stake in the company. However, what
is it really? Employee ownership or not employee
ownership? The United Auto Workers union will own
55% of Chrysler. What future for a union-controlled
industry? Which place for employee ownership in
the auto industry bailout? Same question for German
unions and Opel in Europe. Detailed information
European Meeting of Employee Ownership – Brussels,
Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership will
be held in Egmont Palace, in the center of Brussels
on May 18, 2009. Registration
and practical information
2009 - Your country compared to others in 2008
Each European country can easily be compared
to others regarding employee ownership in 2008,
thanks to a set of ten graphs, using fully comparable
2009 - Manifesto for the 2009 European Parliament
Employee Ownership Manifesto presents 6 practical
proposals to all candidates to the new European
Parliament and to the European Commission. All interested
people are invited to express their support and
answer our questions. Knowing that the European
Union doesn't have the necessary competency in the
matter, most proposals are addressed to the states.
All reactions are published on the dedicated website.
We already received a number of interesting reactions
from MEPs and others: Glenis Willmott, Stephen Hughes,
Brian Simpson, Bernard Lehideux, Robert Goebbels,
Frédéric Lefebvre and others. Detailed
2009 - Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in
European Countries in 2008
held by employee owners fell to 240.2 billion Euro
in 2008, compared to 283.3 billion in 2007, a serious
decrease of 15.2%; however this was still quite
more than the 206.2 billion in 2006. Employees share
in companies capital stabilized on 2.63% in 2008,
compared to 2.64% in 2007 and 2.32% in 2006. Europe
had 9,1 million employee owners in 2008 compared
to 8.5 million in 2007. This is a first information
from the Survey of Employee Ownership 2008. The
survey brings an exhaustive information about 2.533
European groups, gathering 259.000 companies and
32.4 million employees. See below a first graph
showing that employee share plans continue to multiply
among European companies. The full Annual Survey
will be published on May 18, 2009, it is time for
2009 - Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
Eighth European Meeting of Employee Ownership will
be held in Egmont Palace, in the center of Brussels
on May 18, 2009. Detailed
2009 - New legislation in Germany
Finally they did !! The Bundestag voted the
new legislation for the promotion of employee ownership
on January 22. Detailed
2009 - Crisis as usual
the present crisis so different from others? No
future, the end of the world, the end of the free
enterprise economy, the end of (employee) ownership?
As usual, the biggest crisis we've ever seen. As
usual doomsayers and happiness mongers as well.
As usual most were surprised while many had predicted.
As usual bankruptcies, scandals, even surprising
frauds, some billionaires suicides. Gesticulations
as usual and reflection. As usual some cry for
freedom while others for more regulation. As usual,
many look backwards while some look forwards. Get
here a long-term vision of financial crisises 1929-2008
2009 - Restructuring and rescuing distressed companies
plans are multiplying, involving employee ownership.
However, all companies cannot be saved. Last month,
Tribune Company went bankruptcy in the USA. One
year ago, it was acquired through an ESOP (employee
stock ownership plan) for 8.4 billion dollars. Tribune
employees won't be losing anything from the company's
employee ownership stock plan. However a bad story
for ESOPs. What about the automotive crisis? Is
employee ownership the future of automotive companies?
Which future for employee ownership? This is a new
big debate in the US. After the ESOP Foundation
launched its "Employee Ownership Blog"
some months ago, it is now turn for the US National
Center for Employee Ownership. Both blogs give the
opportunity to some of the most experienced experts
to discuss the point: Michael Keeling, Corey Rosen, John
Logue and John Hoffmire
2009 - Faux pas at the European Commission
recent call for proposals concerning employee ownership
was corrupted. A double complaint was addressed
to the European Ombudsman. Detailed
2008 - Time to buy (bis)
of the world unite. Don't down your tools but buy
a slice of the action. There couldn't be a better
time to start learning to love equity - owning shares
and investing in business... It is counter-intuitive
but with the stock market at rock bottom, this is
a great moment for the British worker to swap being
a wage slave for owning shares through employee
share schemes or investing on the stock market.
Taking part in cooperatives or partnerships could
be explored too..." (British press). Just as
we already pointed in October, it is remarkable
that most debates about employee ownership are going
in the same way: Time to buy.
at the European Commission
time to face. Too difficult for the present European
Commission, at least regarding employee ownership.
Ignorance, incompetency, what else? This has to
be changed. We call for a renewed Commission with
real competency in the matter. Letters were addressed
to José Manuel Barroso and to Nicolas Sarkozy. See
2008 - A political roadmap for employee ownership
political roadmap for Europe was proposed in the
framework of the French Presidency of the European
Union. What should be done at European level to
promote the development of employee ownership? Should
we set up a European model? The picture of employee
share plans in large European companies is highly
fascinating. It is a general movement, involving
all large companies in all countries. However, when
considering the European states, it is still everyone
for himself. What can be done for Europe? Which
European model? Download
ownership for all
ownership for all: This is the common theme linking
all these articles about employee ownership in the
world's press last month. Most discussions about
the financial crisis, share options and executive
pay. "Share options and participation for all"
seems to be the way in France, Germany and others
as well. Tax benefits for employee-owned companies
are requested in Spain… See
October 2008 - Time to buy
is remarkable that most articles about employee
ownership in the world's press tell about similar
information: Time to buy. For a former Prime Minister,
Maltese dockyards should be transferred to a workers'
cooperative rather than to foreign ownership. Austrian
Airlines: Unions ask for strategic employee ownership
which could even be a reason to choose Air France-KLM's
offer rather than Lufthansa. Alitalia: Big unions
are more reluctant here than Austrian colleagues,
but Pilots Union asks for significant employee ownership.
Ireland: Eircom's Employee Share Ownership Trust,
which alreay owns 35pc of the telecommunications
firm, is considering a stake in its majority owner
Babcock & Brown Capital. France: Long struggle
to rescue Ledar Papermaker through a new workers'
coop. Successful new employee share plans for AXA,
Société Générale, EDF… Finally, the question is
also coming from the USA: "Maybe it's time
for Chrysler's employees to buy the company."
September 2008 - Employee ownership in tough times
"Investing employee retirement money in company
stock is not just risky: It's idiotic"
(in American press). Yet in present times, numerous
French companies are launching new global plans
(see press review)… Many American companies are
bought by employees through ESOPs… German government
has now just decided for a new supportive legislation
in 2009… French employees didn't reduce their employee
savings so much, yet President Sarkozy encouraged
them to spend it and to boost consumption… The chairman
of British employee-owned retailer John Lewis Partnership
promises no job cuts in tough times… All idiots?
Finland – Germany - Spain
Finland brings a good example of employee ownership
development in 2008. Compared to 2007, employees'
share in capital raised from 1.56% to 1.89% (+21%)
on average in the 61 largest Finnish companies.
Due to troubles on financial markets, the market
capitalisation of the 61 companies decreased from
215 to 213 billion Euro (-1%), while employees'
shareholdings grew from 3.3 to 4 billions Euro (+20%).
This is based on our survey of employee ownership
in European companies, being now updated for year
2008. Things are not so good in Germany: Employees'
share in capital appears to be unchanged in 2008
compared to 2007 (1.72%) – It is time for a better
legislation. Things are even worst for Spain: Employees'
share in capital decreased from 1.57% in 2007 to
1.45% in 2008.
June 2008 - New research
confirms employee-owned companies more productive
A new recent research on "Employee Ownership
and Participation Effects on Firm Outcomes"
conducted by Brent Kramer, a doctoral candidate
at the City University of New York, “provides strong
evidence that majority employee-owned businesses
have a significant advantage over comparable traditionally-owned
businesses in sales per employee.” More information
June 2008 - Private Equity
and employee ownership
Over the past decade, management and employee share
ownership has become a standard way for the private-equity
industry. It can even be said that management and
employee share ownership has become an established
part of the private-equity toolkit. More
2008 - First Annual Economic Survey of Employee
Ownership in European Countries
The Survey reveals that employee ownership is progressing at a quicker
rate and with greater depth across Europe than expected.
When considering recent trends, employee ownership is predicted to
double within the next 5-10 years, from currently
8.2 million employee owners to 16 million and from
currently 26.2% of all employees in large European
companies to 40-50%, and finally capitalisation
held by employees is predicted to rise currently
from 2.35% to 4 - 4.5%. This is a sudden development
in most European countries. However,
some countries began earlier while others dawdled
on the way. They can easily be compared to each
others. Each country file can be downloaded and
the full Annual Survey is now available. More
European Meeting of Employee Ownership -
Brussels, 23 May 2008
The Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership
was held in the prestigious Solvay Library, just
near the European Parliament. Most presentations
and documents are now available. More
European Employee Ownership Top 100 in 2007
new rankings or European top companies regarding
employee ownership are now available for year 2007.
2008 - Europe – USA and the hedge funds
USA: Some days ago, we got the "Statistical
Profile of Employee Ownership" from the National
Center for Employee Ownership in the USA. Employee
Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are the most popular
employee ownership scheme in the US – they have
now 9.774 ESOPs, with 11.2 millions employee owners,
holding 630 billions Euro in assets. Looking at
all other employee ownership schemes besides ESOPs,
they have some 25 millions employee owners, holding
more than 1.000 billions Euro in assets.
Europe: Considering the 2.500 largest European
companies, we have now 8.2 millions employee owners
across Europe, holding 260 billions Euro (see our
first "Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership"
will be soon made public).
Europe and USA: Employee owners hold now
some 1.260 billions Euro, quite similar to the global
capitalisation of all hedge funds across the world
in 2007 (US$ 1.700 billions = 1.160 billions Euro).
legislation in Slovenia
On February 29, the Slovenian Parliament voted
a new legislation for employee share ownership and
financial participation. This is a first major change
in the new Member States of the European Union.
Most of them promoted employee ownership when they
privatised, 15 years ago, but nothing was done to
support employee ownership in the longer term. Hence
this strange situation, employee share ownership
expanding in the first 15 countries of the European
Union, while declining in the new ones.
2008 - 80% of all European largest companies have
employee share plans
80% of all European largest companies had employee
share plans in 2007, coming from 50% in 2000, 20%
in 1994, 10% in 1986... A quick and recent development.
All European countries are involved without any
exception. However, some of them began earlier while
others dawdled on the way. We present the full picture
in a set of graphs, so you can see what it is for
each country. See
23 May 2008 – Seventh European Meeting of Employee
The Seventh European Meeting of Employee Ownership
will be held in Brussels on 23 May. The meeting
will be the place for the publication of the ranking
of the European Employee Ownership Top 100 for year
2007 and the full analysis of employee ownership
across Europe in 2007. Would
you like to attend – get detailed information here
2008 - Promising year 2008
A lot of things seem promising for a new political
impulse to employee ownership across Europe. Germany
is going fast to a new legislation, Austrian Government
is working hard, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker
of Luxemburg launched a call some weeks ago, the
new All Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership
is in place in UK, some new Member States seem opening
doors, for instance Slovenia (going to a new legislation
for employee ownership in 2008), and the next French
Presidency of the European Union could be a good
2007 - 14 European countries in 2007 – and Austria
Compared with a set of 14 European countries, employee
share ownership seems low in Austria. We made a
presentation last month in Vienna on invitation
of Vice-Chancellor Wilhelm Molderer and Minister
of Economics and Labour Martin Bartenstein, comparing
employee share ownership in 14 European countries.
This is based on most recent numbers, those of year
2006/2007 – a photography of European employee ownership
in real time. See
Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership in UK
British Parliament decided to set up a permanent
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Employee Ownership.
This looks a major political step for employee ownership
in UK. The Group organised first a public inquiry,
allowing us to express our requirements regarding
employee ownership not only in UK but for the whole
European Union. See
2007 - Employee share ownership in business succession
It is known that ESOP – one of the most typical
employee ownership scheme in USA, was particularly
designed for business succession. In Australia,
the Australian Employee Ownership Association (AEOA)
has been vigorously promoting the role that
employee share ownership can play in business succession
planning. To support the development of employee
share ownership in the SME sector, the AEOA
has set up a special "resources" page
to assist business consultants with advising
on ESOP-based business successions and the
expansion of employee equity in private companies. The
articles, case studies and web-links appearing on
this page will be useful for informing
retiring business owners wanting to transition their
business to their employees as part of a succession
plan, as well as for those wanting to implement shared
ownership of private businesses generally.
this new resources web-page
Creation of the Employee Ownership Blog in USA.
The Employee Ownership Blog is dedicated to fostering
an open discussion about employee ownership in the
US while keeping readers informed of new developments
on the legislative front and linking to relevant
to the blog
2007 - A trade unionist in the world of employee
David Wheatcroft is a British trade unionist and
an experienced practitioner in the employee ownership
field. He just published a new paper: "Caring
and sharing – the co-owned route to better care",
a personal account of how an employee owned company
– Sunderland Home Care Associates – was formed and
has flourished. Of course such company is not listed
– the paper tells how a regulated internal share
market is used for employees who wish to sell or
buy shares. Another aim of this report is to show
national and local policy makers why the co-ownership
model has so much to offer public services. Download
coming - The European Employee Ownership Top 2007
Last year we set up a full database of employee
ownership in all widest European groups, including
detailed description and history of all share-based
and option schemes in each group. Our database is
presently being updated for year 2007. So we'll
be able to see how employee ownership evolved from
2006 to 2007 in all 27 countries of the European
Union. This year the database will cover all 2.500
widest European groups, on which 1.200 are already
updated. In these 1.200 companies, we can mention
that capitalisations held by employees rose by 29,8%
in 2007. Of these capitalisations, executives held
19% in average and common employees 81% (but executives
held 67% in Spain, 29% in Germany, 17% in Finland).
Last year, many companies designed and launched
new employee share and options plans. 44% did so
in Denmark, compared to 39% in Ireland, 35% in Finland,
and only 22% in Germany, 15% in Spain, 8% in Portugal…
The database will be soon completely updated and
we will publish our rankings for year 2007 and our
detailed analysis through a publication and a conference
in March 2008. Would your company be a sponsor for
this publication and event? Sponsoring
2007 - Employee share ownership - what's in it for
Is buying shares in your company a wise investment
and a good way to keep your eye on management? In
this interview for Rhodia Alliance OnLine (Rhodia's
association of employee shareholders), we talk about
the advantages of owning a stake in your company,
whether criticism of your management is a bad career
move, and we break down some of the mysteries
and financial ins and outs of share ownership. More
The European Foundation in Dublin just published
a new report about financial participation of employees
in the European Union. Conclusion: "There has
been a clear trend of rising levels of financial
participation over the five years between 2000 and
2005. In all countries there has been an increase,
in some cases notable, in the percentage of employees
participating… This indicates that the percentage
of workers involved in financial participation schemes
in Europe, although still low, is on the increase,
suggesting that the phenomenon will probably become
more significant in the near future." More details
debate about employee share ownership in Germany
different proposals are discussed in Germany. The
Christian Democratic Party has published a paper
with a list of proposals to promote financial participation
on the company level. The proposal of the Social
Democratic Party has a different objective: They
propose to establish a so called “Germany Fund”.
A common proposal of the two governmental parties
– that means a compromises – could be expected in
to the new Member States of the European Union
EFES requests all new Member States to adopt a legislation
allowing employee share plans based on international
standards. Most countries answered positively. More information
2007 - 2007 surveys in France and United Kingdom
France publishes its Sixth Annual Survey on
employee savings plans. In 2007, 84% of Executives
and 82% of employees consider employee share ownership
as a good thing for companies (it was 79% and 80%
in 2002). Download
French Survey UK released the results of its
annual SIP (Share Incentive Plan) and SAYE (Save
As You Earn) survey – the most common plans, a succesful
story. More information
From its start one year ago, Angela Merkel's
Government plans to make up the time Germany had
lost regarding employee share ownership. Both political
parties of the big coalition had their own working
groups. Now both proposals are on the table. Socialist
SPD thinks to indirect employee ownership, free
of risk, through a big "German Fund",
managing employees savings and investing in German
companies. Christian Democrat CDU/CSU is more inclined
to favour direct employee share ownership. See more
information in press review.
to the new Member States of the European Union
EFES requests all new Member States to adopt a legislation
allowing employee share plans based on international
standards (annual employee share purchase plans,
20% discount price free of tax and social security,
up to 5.000 Euro or 10% annual wage, 3 years blockage).
We already got answers from Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia
and the Czech Republic. More information
2007 - Request to the new Member States of the European
EFES requests all new Member States to adopt a legislation
allowing common employee share plans. Most new Member
States have a bad opinion about employee share ownership
and they don't have any adapted legislation. This
makes things difficult, not only in these countries
but in the European Union as a whole, because most
new Member States being not interested or even hostile,
political interest for employee share ownership
fell dramatically also in Brussels !! More
Employee Ownership Association
An international conference on employee ownership
in Russia was held on June 7-8, 2007 in Rostov-on-Don,
Capital of South Russia (city of Essenin, Tchekhov,
Soljenitsin, etc), being hosted by the Rostov State
Economic University. The Conference decided to set
up a new Russian Association for Employee Ownership,
and EFES will help.
2007 - Explosive development about employee ownership
in the world's press (May 2007)
articles about employee ownership in the world's
press in April. When we launched our press review
for the first time in October 2005, we got 597 articles.
In March 2006, it was 1.090. In March 2007, last
month, it was 2.090… Now with 7.560 articles, we
have to change our methods. See press review below.
in USA, employee ownership schemes are especially
For the second time in a few weeks, employee
stock ownership plans (ESOPs) figured prominently
in high-profile deals. $8.2 billion deal for Chicago
Tribune (21.000 workers – they will have 60% in
hands). $5 millions deal for Chrysler with a possible
bid by the United Auto Workers reviewing a proposal
for employees and the union to buy 70 percent of
Chrysler via an employee stock ownership plan… See
more information in the press review below.
website for the Netherlands Participation Institute
which promotes employee ownership in the Netherlands
New worker-owned garment factory
The Institute of Integrated Rural Development
promotes worker ownership in the textile industry
and in roadside tree plantations More
2007 - Employee ownership in largest European companies
of all largest European groups have employee share
ownership and 82,6% have plans to develop it more,
while 49% have broad based plans (all employees
plans). Employee share ownership is significant
in 40,3% (employee owners holding more than 1%).
On the other hand, 69,6% use stock options. Our
database of employee ownership in European companies
is now complete. It gathers the numbers and the
detailed history of employee share plans in the
2.000 European widest groups, in 27 European countries.
This is 29 millions employees (corresponding to
100-120 millions people, some 25% of the whole European
population, if you consider that a family sizes
3-4 persons). The database can be used for benchmarking
about countries, branches or a defined list of companies
as well. You
can ask us here for conditions
European Employee Ownership TOP 2007
Would your company be partner of the European
Employee Ownership TOP 2007? The database will be
updated. It will also be expanded to Romania, Bulgaria
and probably Turkey. The ranking of the TOP employee
ownership companies will be published through a
celebration conference at the end of the year, a
dedicated website and a publication. Call
us for partnership
March 2007 - The European Council of Finance
Ministers calls for more employee ownership
European companies must give workers
a bigger share of their soaring profit or risk igniting
a “crisis in legitimacy” in the continent’s economic
model, Germany’s finance minister warned on last
Ecofin Council of Ministers. The idea of using initiatives,
such as employee share ownership schemes, to increase
the link between profit and worker benefits was
discussed, the debate having even some “Thatcherite
overtones” – a reference to the former British prime
minister’s promotion of employee share ownership
The CoCo Report: Work, Happiness and Employee
Companies where workers have a say in
decisions and a stake in ownership are more productive
because staff are happier, according to a new report
in the UK. The study found absence levels were lower
and workers were more committed in "co-owned"
companies. The British Government was urged to introduce
tax incentives to encourage the launch of more
co-owned companies. Download
the full report
First Investment Fund based on the employee
share ownership index
In December, Euronext together with the French Federation
of Employee Shareholders' Associations launched
its Indice de l'Actionnariat Salarié (Employee
Share Ownership Index). They launch now a first
investment fund based on the index. Here
2007 - Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
UK's Accounting Standard Board announced a major
relaxation of the requirements for Share Based Payments
for smaller companies. Here
Netherlands Participation Institute
Pascale Nieuwland and Marjon Westerhof are the new
Directors of the NPI. Here more information
2007 - The European Employee Ownership Top 100 in
The rankings of European biggest companies
considering employee ownership are now available.
The Top 10 companies for capitalisation held by
employees are: UBS, Total,
Novartis, Mondragon, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale,
BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, AXA, Bouygues. Employees
hold 6,16% of those companies, which means 43.357
Euro by employee in average.
here for The European Employee Ownership Top 100
rankings in 2006
European Meeting of Employee Ownership
The Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
was held in Brussels on December 14-16. Click
here for all presentations of the conference
Employee Rights & Employee Buyouts - A Strategy
new report by Anthony Jensen, Ithaca Consultancy
and The Common Cause Foundation
new original research works about employee ownership
and participation in Europe
Guiol & Jorge Munoz made the demonstration that
participative management contributes to better public
health (French report)
Kaarsemaker gave a theoretical and empirical treatise
about employee ownership and human resource management
and the Dutch context
Caramelli made an attitudinal cross-cultural approach
about the effects of employee ownership in large
British guidelines on employee share plans in 2007
The Association of British Insurers updated its
guidelines on executive remuneration and employee
share plans. Click
here for detailed information
Ownership Ltd (UK) changed
Job Ownership Ltd decided to change its strategy
and name. It is now the Employee Ownership Association
2006 - With the participation of one of the candidates
to the French Presidency
Publication of the first ranking of the TOP
100 European employee ownership companies, during
the Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
- Brussels 14-15 December 2006.
Click below for:
Programme and practical information
companies will probably belong to the first TOP
The European Commission opened doors for a European
policy regarding employee ownership, with PEPPER
I Report (1991) and PEPPER II (1996). Now the Inter-University
Centre Split/Berlin publishes the PEPPER III Report,
describing employee financial participation in the
new Member and Candidate Countries of the European
European Commission's disaster
This is how an expert describes his participation
to a European Commission's group of experts on financial
2006 - Come in Brussels for the celebration of the
TOP 100 European employee ownership companies
On the menu of the Sixth European Meeting of
Employee Ownership (Brussels 14-15 December 2006):
Announcement of the TOP 100 for year 2006 and celebration
of companies at the Brussels Stock Exchange Palace.
For the first time, a complete
survey of employee ownership will be available,
for all countries of the EU. A number of companies
case studies from various countries. Unions' testimonies.
Obstacles to employee share plans. Reactions of
a panel of high political representatives.
Many services providers in the field will be present.
Click below for:
and practical information
of your travel and accommodation expenses
company in the European TOP 100 ?
Which companies will be at the top of
the TOP 100 for year 2006? Companies of the TOP
100 will be celebrated during a gala dinner in the
Brussels Stock Exchange Palace on December 14 evening.
companies will probably belong to the TOP 100
reports about employee ownership in European countries
New reports were recently published about employee
France, and in
2006 - Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
The Sixth European Meeting of Employee Ownership
will be held in Brussels on December 14-15-16, 2006.
The meeting will announce the ranking of all Europe's
widest employee ownership companies: The European
Employee Ownership Top 100 - 2006. For the first
time, a complete survey of employee ownership will
be available, for all countries of the EU. Click
here for detailed information and draft programme
travel and accommodation expenses could be reimbursed
Thanks to our sponsors, EFES will be able to cover
your travel and accommodation expenses for the Sixth
European Meeting of Employee Ownership. Click
here for detailed information.
new platform for employee ownership in Austria
A new platform published a strong study on employee
ownership and participation schemes in Austria.
See on Plattform
2006 - Top European companies set up a lobby group
Design and management of multinational share plans
are very difficult and expensive. The management
of multinational schemes is confronted with a huge
range of constraints and changeable national rules
for which managers and directors of schemes are
poorly equipped and frequent use of expensive legal
advice is necessary. Many improvements or exemptions
could be achieved, hence lower complexity and costs.
The first meeting of the lobby group allowed participants
to define priorities. Click
here for detailed information.
The European Employee Ownership Top 100 2006
It will be designed with respect to two rankings
of Europe's largest companies, considering employee
EUROPA EMP 100: Companies are ranked by number
of employees. Ranking Europe's largest companies
that are 50% or more employee-owned through an ESOP,
Share Purchase Plan, or other Broad-Based Ownership
Plan, or as a workers' co-operative.
EUROPA CAP 100: Companies are ranked by equity
held by employees, in millions Euro. Ranking Europe's
largest companies that are partly or totally employee-owned
through an ESOP, Share Purchase Plan, or other Broad-Based
Ownership Plan, or as a workers' co-operative.
2006 - International Survey on Employee Share Ownership
and Work Values
The CREGO - Research Center in Management of the
University of Montpellier II, is carrying out an
international survey on employee share ownership
and work values. The goal of this research is to
give some insight to several practical issues like
the one of the effects of employee ownership on
employee motivation and organisational commitment
or the impact of cultural values on employees’ perceptions
and behaviours towards employee ownership. The survey
is aimed at all employees (both shareholders and
not shareholders) of traded companies which offer
some employee share ownership plan. Filling the
questionnaire, takes about 15 minutes and the information
gathered is strictly anonymous and confidential.
are invited to take part, clicking here.
The Mondragon Co-operative Research Conference 2005
was held in Mondragon on 28 June.
We noticed 3 remarkable papers:
exit and the business cycle. Are coops different?
by Virginie Perotin, Leeds University Business School.
business of co-operative education: Master of Management
- Co-operatives and credit unions, by John Chamard,
Stephen Dutcher and Tom Webb, Saint Mary's University.
Tom Webb took part in the first stages of our EOLE
and opportunities for Mondragon co-operatives in
the face of globalization, by Isabel Uribe and
Ignazio Iribar, Mondragon University.
USA - The ESOP Association Urges President's
Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform to Promote
the Ownership Society Through Employee Ownership
WASHINGTON, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, The
ESOP Association submitted comments and recommendations
to the President's Advisory Panel on Federal
Tax Reform that encourages the Advisory Panel
to be consistent with President Bush's goal
to encourage and promote an "Ownership Society"
in the United States. See on http://www.esopassociation.org
Committee for Effective Employee Ownership:
practical guidelines for employee ownership
In 2004, the National Center for Employee Ownership
(NCEO); the Beyster Institute at the Rady School,
UC San Diego; and the Global Equity Organization
(GEO) created the Committee for Effective Employee
Ownership (CEEO). The CEEO's primary goal is
to devise principles intended to help companies
and investors make appropriate, economically
sound choices about the distribution of equity
among employees. In addition, the CEEO seeks
to provide general guidelines on how companies
can best use broad employee equity ownership
plans to create more productive and rewarding
workplaces. The CEEO bases each of the principles
in this document on objective research by scholars,
advisors, and the National Center for Employee
Ownership; the principles are not simply our
opinion or philosophy. The CEEO does not propose
these principles as the basis for laws or regulations.
Instead, it believes that market-proven benefits
of responsible employee ownership can prove
themselves without rhetoric. In order to make
this happen, business and investment leaders
need a deeper understanding of how these various
approaches to employee ownership operate. The
findings of the CEEO are available at www.nceo.org/ceeo
can also get the full document available here
in pdf (49 pages).
Report of the High Level Group of Experts on
cross-border obstacles to financial participation
of employees for companies having a transnational
need to reduce, through concrete measures, the
obstacles to the introduction of financial participation
throughout the Union for enterprises established
in several countries has been stressed by the
Communication of the European Commission proposing
a general framework for promoting financial
participation in Europe in July 2002. The report
of the high level group of independent experts
set up against this background deals with the
various forms of financial participation used
in the European Union, the obstacles to cross-boarder
spread of financial participation and the proposals
that would help to reduce the obstacles and
promote financial participation at Union level.
Available in pdf format in : EN
2004: FOR THE NEXT RENEWAL OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
In 1998, when the European Federation of Employee
Share Ownership was< set up, it was said
that some 10% of American employees held shares
of their enterprise; they are now 23,3%. Some
weeks ago, the Australian Government launched
a programme to double employee share ownership
in Australia, from 5,5% of employees today to
11% in 2009.
Today, performances studies have multiplied
and we can now consider with no doubt that when
it is practiced in good conditions, employee
ownership brings to enterprises a gain of performances
estimated at 2% of additional annual growth
on average. On the European Union scale, this
would represent millions of additional jobs.
In this way the development of employee ownership
could be an important factor for the Lisbon
Today, we are far from a European awareness
and a strong mobilisation. Scepticism or indifference
still dominate in many European countries. The
contrast is obvious in comparison with the United
States, Australia and other parts of the world.
A political willingness of the European Union
has still to crystallize.
We recommend that Europe gives itself a voluntary
objective of industrial policy : reach 10 %
of employee ownership in the whole European
Union in 2010. In this way, a whole combination
of means have to be implemented at the Union
level, in the Member States and in the regions.
We particularly insist on the followings :
1. The implementation of a community organ (agency
? institute ? committee ?) for the promotion
and the development of employee ownership. In
this way, we applaud the proposal of the European
Commission Experts Group, chaired by Jean-Baptiste
de Foucault, to install a European Committee
for Financial Participation of Workers.
2. An adapted legislation must be applied in
each country of the European Union. In this
way too, we applaud the proposals of the Experts
Group of the Commission chaired by Jean-Baptiste
3. Enterprise transfer and salvation of failing
enterprises are situations where employee ownership
has proved its worth. Employee buyouts schemes
should get particular support. These formulas
are not only to be supported for themselves
but also because they are favourable to the
diffusion and promotion of employee ownership,
in all enterprises of the Union's countries.
Government recently announced a scheme to double
employee share ownership (ESO) in Australian
workplaces from 5.5 per cent now to 11% in 2009.
They set up a very good website on: http://www.workplace.gov.au/Workplace/WPDisplay/0,1280,a0%253D0%2526a1%253D517%2526a2%253D634,00.html
Owners At Work draws the attention on the prestigious
award that the Ford Foundation presented to
John Logue, Director of the Ohio Employee Ownership
Center. See on http://dept.kent.edu/oeoc/PublicationsResearch/OwnersAtWork.htm
and these are now growing together our OEOC
and EFES trees !!!.
to all European Governments. On the occasion
of the forthcoming renewal of the European Commission,
EFES calls for a transfer of the competence related
to employee ownership and employee financial participation
along with the management of the sub-programme on
employee financial participation of budget-line
B3-4003 to DG Enterprise.
A main conference on employee financial participation
in Europe, Paris, April 28-29, 2004. Organised by
the French organisation "Europe et Société".
Most speakers beeing EFES members: Erik Poutsma,
Jean-Claude Mothié, etc. Here
the draft programme in pdf. Registration on
line on www.europeetsociete.com
Contact: Jacques Moreau, Executive Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
The European Commission has released its new Action
Plan setting out Europe’s agenda for entrepreneurship
in the years to come, published
here in the 11 Community languages.
EFES Secretariat in Brussels got the visit of two
Polish students in the framework of a Leonardo Programme
led by the University of Cracow (Prof essor Ryszard
Stocki). They spent 31/2 months in Brussels, helping
EFES to build our Polish website and to translate
all documents of the European Union concerning employee
ownership and financial participation of workers.
A good experience for EFES. Below Maja Bobruk and
Ola Michalik with some members of the teams of EFES,
EFES Belgium and L'Associatif Financier. Just click
for a better view:
Mondragon Corporación Cooperativa renewed
completely its website. It is now full of information
in English, French, German, Spanish and Basque.
See on http://www.mondragon.mcc.es/
Marco Caramelli (University of Montpellier, France)
is developing a
cross-cultural study of the attitudinal effects
of employee stock ownership plans
He looks for support.
Conference on employee financial participation in
Europe, Paris, April 28-29, 2004. Organised by the
French organisation "Europe et Société".
They are still looking for speakers from EO companies
in UK, Spain and other countries. Some EFES members
are already registered as speakers: Erik Poutsma,
Jean-Claude Mothié, Marc Mathieu. Here
the draft programme in pdf. Registration on
line on www.europeetsociete.com
Contact: Jacques Moreau, Executive Manager, email@example.com
Employee ownership continues to be widely growing
in the US. 23.3% of all employees working for for-profit
companies report owning stock in their companies
(this is 23 million employees); the number is 12,0%
in companies employing less than 50 employees; it
is 25,1% in companies between 50 and 499 employees;
it is 38,7% in companies employing more than 500
people. How much do employees own actually: the
mean is 84.409 $, which is 99,6% of their average
annual pay. You find the complete results of this
survey on page http://www.nceo.org/library/widespread.html
There are still many legal and political obstacles
for employee share ownership in Europe. You
find here the August issue of the
European Financial Services Regulation. EFSR
is a monthly magazine specialised in financial and
legal cross European matters. In this month’s issue,
EFES made a contribution attempting to address the
various legal and political obstacles that promotion
of employee financial participation encounters in
Europe. The article calls for a more active involvement
of the European Commission. It points the obstacle
due to the dual management of the DG Enterprise
on one hand and the DG Employment & Social Affairs
on the other. This could be changed with the installation
of the new Commission in 2004.
WILL ENCOURAGE THE USE OF THE SPANISH MODEL OF THE"SOCIEDADES
ten years ago, Spain set up a new original corporate
model - the Sociedades Laborales - employee
owned companies. This model allowed Spain to start
with 17.000 new companies, creating 105.000 new
jobs within the last ten years, in all regions,
all sectors in industry and services. A major success
! Most are small and medium-sized enterprises. Many
of them are resulting from transfers of businesses
or rescue plans. More recently, a lot of them are
also new starters.
This model is based on the best practices in employee
new Belgian government was installed in July 2003.
Following an information given by EFES (we organized
an international conference at the Belgian Parliament),
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt confirms that Belgium
will encourage the use of the Spanish model.
Minister's letter is available in 4 languages (NL/EN/FR/ES)
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND
SOCIAL COMMITTEE ARE NOW DISCUSSING OF EMPLOYEE
SHARE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION (January 1, 2003)
first remember: In 1999 we launched a call to put
employee share ownership on the European political
agenda. Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt promised
to put the point on the table during the Lisbon
Summit, and he did.
The promotion of employee financial participation
was then on the European Social Agenda and the European
Commission had to make a communication and an action
plan; the Commission published its communication
on July 5, 2002 (see here below).
The European Parliament and the European Economic
and Social Committee are now discussing of the Communication
and preparing their own opinion.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE
EESC set up a dedicated working group and the draft
opinion of the EESC is well advanced, Mario Sepi
(Italy, CISL) doing a very good work as the EESC
preliminary draft opinion is here available in English,
(PDF). The EESC will decide on its opinion in its
Plenary Session of February 26-27, 2003, after that
the Section for Employment and Social Affairs will
have discussed of the draft opinion on February
5. This is of high interest, the EESC beeing the
voice of the European social partners.
Menrad (Germany) is the Rapporteur. He already produced
some good working documents. You can see the most
recent working document here in English
and in French
(PDF), or in other languages (Spanish, Danish, German,
Greek, Italian, Nederlands, Portuguese, Finish,
Swedish), clicking on page http://www.europarl.eu.int/meetdocs/committees/empl/20021209/empl20021209.htm
The Parliament will hold various working sessions
on the point, going to a conclusion in May or June
Employee Ownership Legislation in UK (November 2002)
A new Employee Ownership Legislation was passed in UK
Parliament on November 7th and will take place from
6th of April 2003. It will provide tax concessions
for companies who transfer shares to an employee
trust. Small and medium sized companies seeking
to become partly or full employee owned will benefit
from the new legislation. It also ensures that employee
representatives can be appointed as trustees of
trusts set up to manage employee share schemes.
Full details are on the Inland Revenue web site
from Washington (October 2002)
We were in Washington from October 6 to 11 for the
First International Conference of the Capital Ownership
Group, with some 100 participants. The COG is the global forum of Employee Share Ownership, whose EFES is
the main European component. The objective is to promote employee share ownership as a main actor for
"Fix globalization - Make it more inclusive,
democratic, accountable and sustainable".Were present for EFES: Adrian Celaya, David Erdal, Henk Kool, Marc
Mathieu, Erik Poutsma, Vic Thorpe, Pierre Vanrijkel,
David Wheatcroft.All main US employee share ownership organizations were present, as well
as people from Australia, South Africa, China, Colombia,
Chili, etc.The participation of Mark Levin, of the Cooperative branch of the ILO (International
Labour Organization, an UNO Agency) was relevant,
as well as those of various people representing
American trade unions and their pension funds. Clearly, there is a place for a global EO organization, acting at world
level, and pressing the world organizations - ILO,
World Bank, IMF, etc - in favour of employee share
ownership and participation. The global level is
now the field where a lot of debates take their
full place : sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility,
Corporate Governance, etc.COG's team: Deborah Olson, John Logue, Dan Bell, Steve Clem and others.
from Italy (October 2002)
We were invited to a very good conference held in
Milano on Monday October 14. It was organized by Fabi and Fiada (our friends Fabrizio Garberi, Gualtiero
Di Re, and others) and Banca Popolare di Milano,
70 people attending. We were able to see how far they are in Italy from considering the need
or urgency of a legislation on financial participation
or employee share ownership. Probably progress will be done in this way in the following months thanks
to Fabi and Fiada. ( Fabi is the trade union of bank employees; Fiada is the Italian Federation
of EO Associations).
BUDAPEST, February 28-March 2, 2002
SUCCESS OF THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF
THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN NETWORK FOR PROMOTING
EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
conference held in Budapest on February 28-March
2, 2002 was the main event and an important part
of the project initiated by the European Federation
of Employee Share Ownership to develop a network
of individuals and organisations interested and
active in promoting employee ownership and participation
in the ten applicant Central and Eastern European
There were 55 participants on the conference from
18 countries, particularly all candidate Central
and East European Countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia
, Slovenia – 10 countries except Latvia) and some
EU Member States (Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Ireland,
Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom) and even
from the USA.
The conference gave the possibility to assess the
situation concerning employee ownership and participation
in the applicant CEE countries, to exchange information
on the legal background and best practices on national
and company level in the Member States and in the
USA. This was the first time that representatives
of almost all candidate countries were present and
actively contributing to a joint initiative.
Within the framework of
a workshop participants outlined the goals of the
network for the next 3 years and for the coming
year, expressing the great need for the continuation
of the joint effort. The major aim of this joint
effort is establish and maintain an active, and
sustainable network, which is capable to connect
all, who are committed to and interested in promoting
employee ownership and participation. It should
contribute to the dissemination of information about
policy, research, and best practices in systematic
and regular way, and as widely as possible in the
ten applicant CEECs and in the Member States. To
this end all the materials presented during the
conference and the results of the planning workshop
will be available soon in the website of the CEEO
Network – www.efes-ceeo.net
EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP THE
HAGUE (NETHERLANDS) 25-28 APRIL 2001
THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
main event of our programme 2000/2001 was a success,
involving more than 100 participants of 19 countries.
Our p rogramme 2000/2001 is mainly dedicated to
the ORGANIZATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES
OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION.
The European Action Programme
issued from the European Workshop of 30 April 1999
at the European Parliament, Brussels, placed the
focus on this main priority. A particular accent
was put on the implication of the social partners,
trade unions as well as employers.
European Commission together with the European Foundation
for the Improvement of the Living and Working Conditions
opened the meeting, announcing new major developments
in European PEPPER policies in 2001. Professor Erik
Poutsma was the main author of PEPPER II Report,
and he is the main author of the new report that
the Foundation and the Commission will publish in
May on "Recent trends in employee financial
participation in the EU".The Commission announced
a "Communication on Financial Participation"
and an action plan to be published later in 2001.
These will be prepared through a wide consultation
of all interested actors.
of the European Parliament Philippe Herzog (France)
and Ieke van den Burg (Netherlands) made strong
presentations supporting employee ownership and
main organizations implied in international exchanges
of information about employee ownership and participation
were present, explaining their activities and projects:
- the European Foundation in Dublin (the European
research institution representing Member States
and social partners);
- the International Labour Organization;
- the NCEO;
- the Capital Ownership Group;
- the GEO - Global Equity Organization;
- the International Associationfor Financial Participation.
Pichot made a clarifying presentation on the new
status for the European company: click here on PICHOT.
held its Board meeting and Second annual general
meeting of members. Report of the Board, accounts
2000 and budget 2001 were approved as well as the
action programme for coming months. Some minor changes
were decided in the Board and Executive Office.
Jones launches a new " responsible "
EO stock index
Sustainability Assets Management (SAM), the Swiss
rating cabinet which manages Sustainability Dow-Jones
Index jointly with the Dow-Jones company, has just
launched the " Dow-Jones Employee Ownership
Index ", a new stock index devoted to European
companies having the best policies regarding employee
share ownership. According to the official release published
by Dow-Jones, "employee share ownership presents
many advantages of which companies are increasingly
conscious, in particular while allowing, in a flexible
way, to interest employees durably in the economic
health of their company (...) Employee shareholders
become more conscious of the strategic decisions
and their implications."
The index counts 30 European securities of
10 countries (among which SAP, British Airways,
Crédit Suisse, DaimlerChrysler, Royal Dutch Petroleum
and United Utilities) and 6 French companies (Rhodia,
Dexia, Société Générale, Aventis, Bouygues, Lafarge,
and Technip). Selected
companies were chosen among the 600 companies of
the DJ Stoxx 600 according to their answers to a
questionnaire on employee ownership; the criteria
are: the features of the employee share ownership
program (30% of the note), its magnitude compared
to the total number of employees and the capital
(20%), the commitment of management in the program
(20%), the quality of the communication around the
program (20%) and finally the transparency of information
us note that bank ABN AMRO in Frankfurt makes it
possible to invest in this index, calculated by
Dow-Jones in a daily way.
EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP THE
HAGUE (NETHERLANDS) 25-28 APRIL 2001
THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION
This is the
main event of our programme 2000/2001. Just
click here for the PROGRAMME
OF THE MEETING (pdf ADOBE).
2000/2001 is mainly dedicated to the ORGANIZATION
OF INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES OF INFORMATION ON EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION. The European
Action Programme issued from the European Workshop
of 30 April 1999 at the European Parliament, Brussels,
placed the focus on this main priority.
The project aims
to organize the exchanges of information on employee
ownership and participation, in particular legislation
and practices. A particular accent will be put on
the implication of the social partners, trade unions
as well as employers.
initiative is highly innovative:
- in Europe,
there are scattered information efforts, but none
at such a scale, or with the same degree of involvement
from the various actors in more than 20 European
countries (EU and associated countries).
- in the United
States, significant initiatives have been taken
and information exchanges are expanding quickly,
although they essentially address the needs of American
The Third European
Meeting of Employee Shareownership will:
- develop a system
of information exchange adapted to European needs
(methods, content, management, dissemination and
exchanges) by using existing European and American
- a very broad
consultation of all those concerned in Europe, in
particular the social partners, and a large mobilisation,
in order to develop tools that could satisfy the
needs of all interested parties;
- involve, for
the first time, more than 20 countries (all of the
countries of the European Union and the partner
countries of Eastern and Central Europe) in a joint
effort to exchange information on workers’ financial
The THIRD EUROPEAN
MEETING was prepared through an international seminar
of experts in Paris on 8-9 December 2000 (see more
details hereafter), and a follow-up meeting will
take place in Brussels in October 2001.
Furthermore, a lot of specialised net-meetings will
be held during the programme. The organization and
the results of the programme will be spread particularly
through the implementation of a big European internet
portal giving access to information databases and
to links with the relevant sites in Europe and in
the world. The programme will associate all member
organizations of the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE
SHAREOWNERSHIP, as well as the social partners of
the European countries. It will be co-financed by
the European Commission, and by public and private
Involving social partners, trade unions and employers
organizations is a priority for EFES. We registered
a database of 350 social partners of the European
Union countries, being now able to send them our
electronic newsletters. To be registered as a European
social partner in this database, please call us.
BOARD SEMINAR OF EXPERTS, Paris 8-9 December 2000
EFES MAIL NEWS N°6
Board of EFES held an international seminar of experts
in Paris on 8-9 December 2000 to prepare the next
Third European Meeting of Employee Shareownership
(The Hague 26-27-28 April 2001).
seminar allowed the Board to be informed of the
main initiatives and projects of international exchanges
of information on employee ownership and participation:
the NCEO and the
"International Equity Compensation Database"
Ownership Group (COG)
Global Equity Organization (GEO)
the International Association for Financial Participation
the projects coming from the European Commission
and the European Foundation in Dublin.
seminar was highly productive and it opened large
perspectives of cooperation between EFES and the
other organizations. The
report of our experts seminar is available, clicking
programme 2000/2001 of the EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF
EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP (EFES) will be dedicated to:
“organizing the international exchanges of information
on employee ownership and participation” and the
Third European Meeting of Employee Shareownership
in The Hague in April 2001. This will be prepared
through an international seminar of 36 experts in
Paris on 7-8-9-10 December 2000, and a lot of specialised
net-meetings (you’ll be invited to take part). A particular
accent will be put on the implication of the social
partners, trade unions as well as employers. All this,
with the support of the European Commission – Social
EFES MAIL NEWS N°5 - 24.10.2000
MAIL NEWS N°4 – 10.07.2000
We have the great pleasure to inform you that EFES - the EUROPEAN
FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHAREOWNERSHIP will collaborate
in the conference in Paris on November 17 and 18 by
the EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS INSTITUTE (IES),
on the subject: " Employee shareholding
in Europe: Mode of management of modish management?
Profit sharing or power sharing? "
EFES PROGRAMME 2000/2001
The executive office of EFES (EUROPEAN FEDERATION
OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP
AND PARTICIPATION) had a good meeting in London,
20-21 June and we discussed a lot of decisions.
We'll have two main action programmes
for year 2000/2001:
1. Under management of EFES secretariat,
a programme with our first priority: "organizing
the exchanges of information about employee ownership
and participation" (website, international
database, newsletter, etc). Preparatory experts
meetings in November/December 2000 (maybe in Paris),
a big meeting at spring 2001 (maybe in The Netherlands),
follow-up expert meetings in autumn 2001 (+ statutory
internal meetings of EFES).
2. Under management of the Hungarian organization
(with EFES partnership), a programme with our
second priority: the European networking and the
Would you like to take part or to co-operate,
please let us know.
On the other hand, we have the great pleasure
to inform you that the Belgian Government gave
to EFES his recognition as an international association,
by a King's Arrest of 1.2.2000. So the legal organization
of EFES is now complete, with good statutes, clarity
on procedures, elected board of directors, executive
office, president and secretary general. All what
we need to make of EFES the large and open federation
we want, with employee owners, companies, trade
unions, experts, etc, all those people who are
looking to promote employee ownership and participation
MAIL NEWS Nr 3 – 15.11.1999
SUCCESS OF THE SECOND EUROPEAN MEETING OF EMPLOYED
12-13 NOVEMBER 1999
The success of the Second European
Meeting (12-13 November in Warsaw) was of first
importance, just as the First European Meeting
in May 1998 in Brussels.
- The meeting was held in the splendid rooms of
the Polish Parliament and people had come in great
numbers from Poland, and from the other European
countries and the USA.
- The meeting was opened by the President of the
Polish Parliament, a lot of members of the Polish
Government took part, as well as the Head of the
Delegation of the European Union in Poland, and
the President of the main Polish trade union (SOLIDARNOSC)
was present to express the support of his organisation.
- The European Partnership day on 12 November
allowed the participants to make their evaluation
of the introduction of employee ownership and
participation in the CEECs and to draw the policy
framework for European partnership for EO and
- The first General Meeting of members of EFES
(EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS,
FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION) was
held on Saturday 13 November, with 29 members
present or represented.
- The project of statutes for EFES as an international
non-profit organisation was adopted.
- The new Board of Directors of EFES was elected,
with 21 people representing 13 countries.
- The Executive Office of EFES was elected, with
7 people coming from the United Kingdom, Hungary,
France, Poland, Belgium, Italy and The Netherlands,
and the Executive Office named its President.
- Finally, the Secretary General of EFES was elected
- Robert OAKESHOTT and Ron GILBERT were applauded
as the first Honorary Members of EFES.
- Lastly, the participants held a workshop to
discuss the European Action Programme of EFES
to promote PEPPER policies troughout Europe.
We call all people, employee owners and all persons,
companies or institutions, unions, managers and
others : please,
become a member of EFES (see membership form joined),
in order to promote employee ownership and participation
and to form as representative a federation as
possible in all the countries of Europe.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EFES :
OF EMPLOYEE SHAREHOLDERS OF BBL, represented by
Pierre VANRIJKEL, Director, BELGIUM
2. Evgenie KOSTOURKOV, member of OWNERSHIP FOUNDATION,
3. Erik MAALOE, professor at the AARHUS SCHOOL,
4. Gorm WINTHER, professor at the GREENLAND UNIVERSITY,
5. ALEXANDER CORPORATE FINANCE OY, represented
by Erkki HELANIEMI, FINLAND
6. Serge CIMMATI, member of the FRENCH FEDERATION
OF ASSOCIATION OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, FRANCE
7. Patrick GUIOL, of the CNRS – UNIVERSITY OF
RENNES 1, FRANCE
8. Raymond GUILLAUME, former employee shareholder
of ELF/TOTALFINA, FRANCE
9. MRP - HUNGARIAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP,
represented by Janos LUKACS, Executive Director,
10. CGIL – CONFEDERAZIONE GENERALE ITALIANA DEL
LAVORO, represented by Walter CERFEDA, National
11. Mauro BOSSOLA, member of the FIADA – ITALIAN
FEDERATION OF ASSOCIATIONS OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS,
12. NETHERLANDS PARTICIPATION INSTITUTE, represented
by Henk KOOL, Executive Director, NETHERLANDS
13. UNIA WLASNOSCI – POLISH FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP, represented by Kris LUDWINIAK, Director,
14. UNIA WLASNOSCI – POLISH FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP, represented by Jacek LIPINSKI, President,
15. SINERGIA – SINDICATO DA ENERGIA, represented
by Armenio SIMOES MATIAS, PORTUGAL
16. DEZAP – SLOVENIAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP,
represented by Bozidar LEDNIK, Executive Director,
17. DRUSTVO DELNICAR – INSTITUTE FOR EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP, represented by Gojko STANIC, Vice President,
18. JOB OWNERSHIP Ltd, represented by David ERDAL,
Executive Director, UNITED KINGDOM
19. David WHEATCROFT, member of the CENTRE FOR
EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION, UNITED KINGDOM
20. Deborah Groban OLSON, member of the NCEO –
NATIONAL CENTER OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP, President,
21. CECOP – EUROPEAN CONFEDERATION OF PRODUCERS’
CO-OPERATIVES, represented by Rainer SCHLUTER,
Secretary General, EUROPEAN UNION
Janos LUKACS, HUNGARY
David ERDAL, UNITED KINGDOM
Kris LUDWINIAK, POLAND
Henk KOOL, NETHERLANDS
Pierre VANRIJKEL, BELGIUM
Mauro BOSSOLA, ITALY
Patrick GUIOL or Serge CIMMATI (to be confirmed),
The Executive Office called Pierre VANRIJKEL to be
EFES MAIL NEWS
2 - 11.11.1999
PARLIAMENT STRENGTHENS PROVISIONS ON EMPLOYEE
OWNERSHIP IN 2000 BUDGET
As reported previously, EFES has established constructive relations with
members of the European Parliament of varied political
and national backgrounds, who have joined our
efforts to strengthen the cause of employee ownership
and participation in the European Union and applicant
countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Up to 1999, the EU budget contained a short and very general phrase in
budget line B3-4000 on ‘Industrial
relations and social dialogue’ on financial
support to ‘pilot projects to promote workers’ financial
participation ‘. After suggestions by EFES,
the European Parliament has now specified, in
its first reading of the 2000 budget, that it
‘… also cover expenditure to
promote good examples and networks, as well as
studies and further training measures to implement
the proposals in the Commission report on PEPPER
It is expected that this amendment will be reconfirmed in the second reading
of the budgetary process in December. For the
first time, the Commission’s PEPPER report (Promotion
of Employee Participation in Profits and Enterprise
Results) is mentioned in the budget. This will
then be a firm basis to stimulate the European
Commission to intensify and broaden its own activities
and those of organisations like FEAS, researchers
and other important actors in the promotion of
This amendment reflects the conclusions of the First European Workshop
on Employee Ownership and Participation of April
99, where the participants drafted a European
action plan calling for the development of models
of good practice, exchange of information, training
and research at the European level.
launched our first call to set up a European Federation
in 1997. On
7 & 8 May 1998, we held the FIRST EUROPEAN MEETING
OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, under the Presidency of
Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene and
Deputy Prime-Minister Janusz Tomaszewski
of Poland. 248 people were present, coming from
28 countries, and they took the decision to create
the European Federation.
that, a first board of around 30 people was held, to organize the federation and discuss the project of its statutes.
30 April 1999, we had our FIRST EUROPEAN WORSHOP
FOR EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP AND PARTICIPATION at the
European Parliament, Brussels, with an EUROPEAN
ACTION PROGRAMME as a conclusion.
the statutes of EFES were adopted by the first general
meeting of members, during the SECOND EUROPEAN MEETING
OF EMPLOYED SHAREHOLDERS, in Warsaw on 12-13 November
Belgian Government gave his recognition to EFES
as an international not-for-profit organization
by a King’s Arrest of 1.1.2000.