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Financial Participation

There are hardly any data on financial employee participation in Lithuania Employee ownership was widespread in the middle of the 1990s, due to the privatization policy. Afterwards a rapid decline set in, with many employees selling their shares.

Employee Share Ownership

At the end of 1992 few shares in privatised companies were in the hands of employees.1 This situation changed radically in the next years, so that by the end of 1995 about 92% of privatized assets had been taken over by employees and only about 5% of privatized companies had not yet implemented employee share ownership schemes. As the value of these shares was very low due to the underdeveloped stock exchange, no protection of minority shareholders existed and the legislation favoured large shareholders, most employees sold their shares, so that the ownership rate decreased significantly by the end of the 1990s.

Today, according to the European Company Survey (ECS) 20092 – a questionnaire of more than 27,000 HR managers in Europe – only 3% of companies offer their employees employee share ownership schemes.

The fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS)3 2010 found similar results: only 0.3% of employees in private companies participate in employee share ownership schemes. Thus Lithuania is near the bottom by European comparison.

The PEPPER IV report found that only 4% of Lithuanian companies with more than 200 employees offered employee share ownership schemes, with only 2.2% of employees entitled to participate.4

The results of the Cranet report 2011 also show below-average incidence of employee share ownership schemes at companies with 100 employees or more in Lithuania.5 In particular the incidence of workforce share ownership schemes is below average in the country. Around 11% of the companies questioned said that they ran an employee share ownership scheme. This is significantly below the 23% average of all the countries under examination.

Profit-sharing

According to the results of the European Company Survey 8% of private-sector Lithuanian companies with 10 or more employees offer their employees a profit-sharing scheme. Compared with other European countries, this is a below-average figure (the 30-country European average is 14%). The prevalence of employee profit-sharing schemes in Lithuania increases in line with company size. 6% of companies with 10-49 employees, 17% with 50-199 employees, and 20% of companies with more than 200 employees have a profit-sharing scheme. The fifth European Working Conditions Survey 2010 (EWCS) arrives at similar conclusions, putting the incidence of profit-sharing in Lithuania at 10.3%.6 The PEPPER IV report found that in 2007 36% of Lithuanian companies with more than 200 employees offered profit-sharing schemes, with 36.4% of employees entitled to participate.7

Cooperatives

In 1990, about 4,500 cooperatives were registered in Lithuania, accounting for about 5% of the total workforce. After Parliament re-legalised cooperative activities and ownership in 1993, various types of cooperatives were established. Today, a total of 541 cooperatives are registered, though only half of them (262) is active. Most of them are very small, with only up to 9 employees.

Wilke, Maack and Partner (2014) Country reports on Financial Participation in Europe. Prepared for www.worker-participation.eu. Reports first published in 2007 and fully updated in 2014.