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Employee ownership was continuously progressing across Europe since the financial crisis
The 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 share shrink.
All details are to be published in May in the next "Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries in 2010". Download

Press review
Much new information about employee ownership in March 2011, with 1.567 articles in this press review (on which 561 involving stock options and 475 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of 38 remarkable articles in 10 countries: Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Italy, Poland, UK, USA.
Austria: New employee share plan for Erste Bank.
Canada: Desjardins will intensively promote business transmission through workers coops.
France: Business transmissions are multiplying through workers coops. France pays interest for John Lewis. New employee share plans for Total, Saint-Gobain, Schneider Electric. Employees hold 16% in Safran.
Germany: Klaus Zimmerman points out the need for more employee ownership in Germany.
India: New stock option plans in public sector companies.
Italy:  Employee ownership should be promoted all around Europe.
Poland: Struggles over employee privatization in coal mines.
UK: John Lewis staff celebrate their bonus payments: Staff at the employee-owned partnership will each receive a bonus worth an average of more than nine weeks' pay. The old gripe about John Lewis from rival retailers used to run like this: The partnership model is very admirable, and undoubtedly pleasant for the bonus-happy staff, but it doesn't actually deliver commercial returns. However, being an employee-owned business allows John Lewis to gain an advantage by taking a long view. Minister Francis Maude has predicted that by 2015 up to one million current public sector workers will be employee owners in public service mutuals. The UK Employee Ownership Index has to be more transparent.
USA: A number of tax benefits make ESOPs a compelling choice. The National Center for Employee Ownership will launch the ROOF Fund with the mission to fund research, education, and innovation to expand ownership opportunities for employees. Should Publix, the largest employee-owned super market chain, go public? The ESOP Association expresses strong support for the "Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2011," introduced by a bi-partisan group of key members of the Congress.

The full press review is available on:

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel/fax: +32 (0)2 242 64 30
Web site:
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.

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