Employee share ownership in
times of pandemic
not the first pandemic. However, for the first
time, it affects the whole world without exception.
Like all previous ones, this one will come
to an end, after which there will be a recovery.
In the meantime, it is causing a great deal
of suffering, including for industrial and
financial assets, which have suffered a massive
loss of value.
This situation is highly
favourable to the development of employee
Indeed, to cope effectively,
everyone is inclined to join forces, to act
in solidarity, to succeed together. These
are also features of employee share ownership.
Many companies are suffering,
encountering serious liquidity problems, and
are looking to reduce salary costs, in order
to cope. This can be offset by allocating
shares to employees, especially as share prices
have fallen. Taxation should not stand in
the way of this compensation, it should encourage
it. This is what the "initiative for
employee participation" in Germany is
aiming for (see www.mitarbeiterbeteiligung.de).
In addition, many businesses
are at risk of bankruptcy. To cope, it is
time to promote the other aspect of employee
share ownership, that of the takeover of
companies by employees. There are many tried
and tested formulas for this - employee cooperatives,
sociedades laborales, employee ownership
trust, ESOP plans, the latter being undoubtedly
the most effective.
Finally, many companies
remain healthy but have to deal with the temporary
loss of value of their assets and the coming
requirements of the return to work. Here too
the distribution of shares to employees can
be a powerful factor for success for all.
In all these situations,
taxation and public policy should not hinder
but should encourage and facilitate.
We call on all European
governments and institutions to act accordingly.