EFES NEWSLETTER - MAY 2021
disinformation campaign in France
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
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.
in the ESOP model, employees do not assume the financial
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
legislation in Germany
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).
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
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
South Africa: Trade, Industry and Competition Minister is
drafting guidelines on employee ownership and other broad-based
Spain: New employee share plan for MásMóvil.
Sweden: Bjerking is a 100% employee-owned company in
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
political roadmap for employee ownership in Europe
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