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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 before.

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 in 2017. The 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.




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 individual workers.
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 well-being.
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 information

Press review
We have a selection of 28 remarkable articles in 8 countries in May 2017: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, UK, USA.
Austria: Wienerberger will set up an employee ownership foundation.
Belgium: Both Government and Ecologist Party plan to promote employee ownership in SMEs.
Finland: Personnel funds in Finland: State of play.
France: New employee share plans for Ingenico, for Valeo. Employees become majority shareholders of GA Group. Workers coops competing with Uber. New employee shareholders' association for Carrefour.
Italy: Ideas about corporate governance.
Spain: Employee-owned sociedades laborales have been hard hit by the economic crisis.
UK:  Employee ownership for family businesses - advantages & myth busting. Fresca Group to become majority employee-owned. Childbase will move from individual share ownership to an Employee Ownership Trust.
USA: Workers at employee-owned business more optimistic than other workers. New firms turning to ESOPs. Legislative package introduced to encourage employee-owned companies.

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: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
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 share ownership and participation in Europe.

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