EFES NEWSLETTER - FEBRUARY 2022
done. Since 1st January, the surprise abolition of all
employee share ownership incentives by the new Norwegian
government has been completed.
The time for a political debate has therefore arrived.
What should be done, and what is the alternative? As
a former celebrated Belgian socialist prime minister
used to say: "I act first and think later".
For the Norwegian Social Democratic Party, employee
ownership represented inequality. We will replace it
with tax benefits for stock options in start-ups, which
will surely be much more egalitarian.
Start-ups are currently all the rage for politicians
At the European Commission, Commissioner Thierry Breton
made a similar statement a while ago. We highlighted
the delay in Europe for employee shareholding in SMEs,
the need to introduce in Europe financial tools adapted
to the transfer of companies to employees. "The
job is done", he said: in just a few months we
have put in place a European strategy to promote the
use of stock options in start-ups.
This European strategy (the EU Start-up Nation Standard)
consists essentially of asking the European states to
act, which is apparently what is also happening in Norway.
We responded that a strategy aimed at the 20 to 30,000
European start-ups cannot be commensurate with the needs
of European SMEs. In fact, the European Union currently
has two million SMEs employing 50 million people (not
counting the 23 million micro-enterprises which also
employ nearly 50 million people).
According to such logic, Europe now has such good electric
bicycles that it will not even require rockets for future
trips to Mars.
At least in Norway the debate is lively, as you can
see in our press review.
have a selection of 33 remarkable articles in 10 countries
in January 2022: Australia, Belgium, Czechia, France, Italy,
Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA.
Australia: Employee Ownership Trusts are a very simple
structure that collectively owns the company for the benefit
of the employees.
Belgium: The employees of I-Care company participated
in its recapitalization.
Czech Republic: Zaha Hadid Architects moves to employee
France: In search of employee ownership in SMEs. Transfers
of businesses to employees in the form of workers' cooperatives.
New employee share plan for Aramis. Boiling for the employee
shareholders of EDF.
Italy: The EFES draws up the catalog of employee share
Norway: Political disaster.
Spain: New employee share plan for Repsol.
Sweden: Fredrik Lundberg against employee ownership
UK: One in 20 of all business transmissions is now
to an Employee Ownership Trust. Every day a new SME is transferred
to employees, as for instance this month: The Leeds Law Firm,
Market Carpets, Formative Content, Cost Advice, Family Law
Group, GuitarGuitar, Kidzcare. Employee ownership: Who really
wins? - Still much doubt from the union for architectural
USA: New business transmissions through ESOPs. A promising
vanguard of institutional investors are using their resources
to support business transitions to employee ownership.
The full press review is available
political roadmap for employee ownership in Europe
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