OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP POLICIES IN EUROPEAN
Except in France, all recent policy developments
in Europe pave the way towards higher incentives
for employee ownership:
prepares a dedicated legislation.
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 1, 2018.
Ireland, a new share scheme incentive focused
on SMEs would be introduced in 2018.
These new developments confirm the positive
trend observed since 2013.
By contrast, the French Parliament decided
in November 2016 that the positive measures
voted through the "Loi Macron" in
2015 should be removed.
increasing continuously since 1980, the number of
employee shareholders in Europe was slightly declining
from 2011, before stabilizing in 2015 (See Annual
Economic Survey of Employee Share Ownership in European
Countries in 2015).
was partly due to the impact of the European financial
crisis that erupted in 2008. However,
the impact of the policy decisions taken in European
countries was probably the most important factor
in this change.
is known that the mass development of employee share
ownership depends mainly on incentive policies (See
incentives are indispensable prerequisites for the
development of employee share ownership, EFES,
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.
A recent study showed that the balance of fiscal
costs and benefits of the ESOP policy for the US
federal budget in 2015 was 2 billion $ compared
to 17, a gain of 15 billion $ (See The
Impact of Employee Ownership and ESOPs on Layoffs
and the Costs of Unemployment to the Federal Government,
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 employee shareholders.
2009-2012, France and Ireland reduced their fiscal
incentives, as well as Denmark, Greece and The Netherlands,
where all incentives were removed. In
contrast, significant policy progress occurred in
the UK in 2014-2016, as well as in Spain, in Hungary,
in Austria (which doubled its fiscal support on
1.1.2016), and in Romania. In
addition Denmark restored in July 2016 the incentives
that were removed in 2011.
is typical of the recent changes in European policies:
One of the first deeds of the new Danish Government
in 2011 (Ms Thorning-Schmidt, socialist) was to
remove all incentives. One of the first deeds of
the new Danish Government in 2016 (Lars Rasmussen,
conservative-liberal) is to restore them.
Vice-Prime Minister Morawiecki announced a long-term
plan in five points for the development of Poland,
including employee share ownership, and a new Polish
"Forum for Employee Ownership and Domestic
Capital Development" was set up in April 2016.
these policy decisions in various European countries,
in a positive or a negative way, can be summarized
through a single dedicated tool. This is the reason
of the setting up of the EFES "Barometer
of employee share ownership policies in European
information and contact
EFES - EUROPEAN
FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP
FEAS - FEDERATION EUROPEENNE DE L'ACTIONNARIAT SALARIE
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
Web site: www.efesonline.org
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 share ownership and participation