Update: Sociedades Laborales too successful

Sociedades Laborales (SL) are a specific form of corporation in Spain which is majority-owned by its permanent employees. This concept is probably the only EFP scheme existing across the EU that specifically applies to small and smallest companies. Compared to conventional firms, SLs have grown in greater numbers, yet the net increase is negative.

At the time we assumed that all disqualifications of SLs (disappearance from the registry of SL) were due to liquidation or bankruptcy and calculated the survival rate accordingly. However, it turned out that an additional reason for their disappearance was that some SLs convert into conventional companies. They continue to exist with substantial employee ownership but do no longer qualify as SL, for example, because the employee ownership rate drops below 50%.

In fact, the reason that they disqualify is often that they become “victims of their success” (as opposed to going bankrupt). From what we know now, between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012 in the Basque Registrar of “Sociedades Laborales” of 110 disqualifications 51 became conventional companies, i.e., 46.36% of which only 8 have closed down.

This means that the survival rate we previously calculated for SLs in Basque Country is in fact much higher. Of the 110 former “Sociedades Laborales” which were previously reported bankrupt or liquidated 39% still exist nowadays but are conventional companies still with substantial employee ownership (but less than 50%).


Employee financial particiaption (EFP) in Spain largely takes the form of Sociedades Laborales (Worker-Owned Companies). This concept is probably the only EFP scheme existing across the EU that is solely applying to small and smallest companies.

The best practice character and details of this concept are widely discussed among Spanish, Polish and German institutions within the Project Employee Financial Participation in Small and Medium Enterprises – A Strategy for Labour Market Policy and Regional Business Development.

This project of the Kelso-Professorship at Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) is supported by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Women and Family Affairs of the Land of Brandenburg with funds from the European Social Fund and the Land of Brandenburg. You are invited to join the final conference on the 4th of December, during which the project partners will present the results of their experience exchange.

Find more information on Sociedades Laborales in our blog post.


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About Intercentar

Intercentar is devoted to dealing and promoting the idea of Employee Financial Participation for a more just society.

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