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266 billion Euros in 2013, just as before the financial crisis
In 2013, the capital held by employees in European companies increased by 32% to 266 billion Euro, just the same level as before the financial crisis. The stake held by employees rose to the top with 2.99% (see graph). This new increase was not mainly due to new employee share plans (some 30% of all large European companies launched new employee share plans, as usual). The main reason is due to the fact that share prices increased more in companies having higher employee ownership, leading mechanically to a higher average stake. This is remarkable. More

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Policy support increasing again and again in the UK
Tax support for employee share plans will be doubled. Fantastic news for the millions of employee shareholders. Policy makers are increasingly embracing employee ownership as a key sustainable business model. Recent years saw a strong lobbying to favour "employee ownership" (in short: employees having controlling stake in SMEs) even at the detriment of "employee share ownership" (in short: employees owning minor stake in large listed companies). The British Government decided to offer £ 50 million in this sense and voices were even heard to express the idea that support for employee share ownership in large companies should be cut. However an additional £ 25 million will go to further encouragement of employee share plans. Amount of money employees can save in Government approved SAYE employee share plans will be doubled from £250 a month to £500 a month and for the SIP employee share plan it has increased from £1,500 a year to £1,800 a year. See full details in the press review.

Press review
We have a selection of 44 remarkable articles in 10 countries in December 2013: Austria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, UK, USA.
Austria: New Government: Tax encouragements on employee share plans will be doubled.
France: Employee share ownership going to be killed in France? New employee share plans for Axa and for Vallourec. STEF was a winner of the "Grand Prix 2013" of employee share ownership.
Germany: Grünbeck is one the best renowned companies regarding employee share ownership in Germany. Tax regime on employee share plans is seriously discriminating in Germany compared to pension savings and to other European countries.
India: Tax regime of employee share plans in India.
Italy: Employee shareholders asking for reliable employee share plan for MPS Bank. Privatisation of the Italian Post: Employee share ownership or German co-determination model?
Slovenia: Looking for new ways to develop employee ownership in Slovenia, the legislation of 2008 was not successful.
Spain: Minister of Employment announces higher public support for new employee-owned companies. The collapse of Fagor Electrodomésticos is the most serious crisis to face Mondragón workers-owned cooperatives for many years.
UK: Tax support for employee share plans will be doubled. Fantastic news for the millions of employee shareholders. Policy makers are increasingly embracing employee ownership as a key sustainable business model.
USA: The Iowa Economic Development Authority is starting a string of education sessions on employee stock ownership plans. A major boost to employee-ownership came from passage in 1974 of federal legislation providing special tax benefits to ESOPs, - the legal structure which most firms now use for worker ownership.

The full press review is available on:

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Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
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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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