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 A disinformation campaign in France

An 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 Development Scotland.
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 lobbying.
This campaign is led by the FAS, an organisation that groups a dozen active associations of employee shareholders into large groups in Paris. Find out more

 New legislation in Germany

The 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 information

Press review
We have a selection of 30 remarkable articles in 12 countries in April 2021: Belgium, Canada, Czechia, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA.
Belgium: EASI is one of the best examples of employee share ownership in Belgian SMEs.
Canada: The post-pandemic recovery offers Canada a golden opportunity to address some of the inequities in our society.
Czechia: Startups calling for legislation to encourage employee share ownership.
Germany: New legislation in Germany.
France: The relative weight of employee share ownership has fallen by 30% in 10 years. Employee buyout for Zelles. French workers' coops sector continues to grow.
Poland: New employee share plan for Ryvu Therapeutcis.
Slovenia: Introduce the ESOP model in Europe. Dewesoft is a good example of employee share ownership in Slovenian SMEs.
South Africa: Trade, Industry and Competition Minister is drafting guidelines on employee ownership and other broad-based ownership schemes.
Spain: New employee share plan for MásMóvil.
Sweden: Bjerking is a 100% employee-owned company in Sweden.
UK: Every day a new SME is transferred to an Employee Ownership Trust. Selling to an employee ownership trust: the benefits and key features.

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)2 791 96 00
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.