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Financial Participation

The level of employee share ownership in Portugal is among the lowest in Europe. Broad-based employee share ownership programmes is reported in only a small percentage of all enterprises. Profit-sharing schemes are somewhat more popular.


According to an analysis of recent data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) collected in 2010 profit-sharing schemes are reported in only about 4% of the companies with more than 250 employees, and employee share ownership systems in only about 1.7% of such companies.1 According to the EWCS, Portugal is below the European average regarding both forms of financial participation. According to the results of the European Company Survey (ECS), a survey of more than 27,000 HR managers in Europe conducted in 2009, 16% of private-sector Portuguese companies with 10 or more employees offer their employees a profit-sharing scheme, basically in line with the 30-country European average of 14%. The prevalence of employee profit-sharing schemes in Portugal varies according to company size. 16% of companies with 10-49 employees, 18% with 50-199 employees, and 36% of companies with more than 200 employees have a profit-sharing scheme. Exact data on the prevalence of employee share ownership schemes in Portuguese companies with more than 10 employees are not contained in the ECS survey. It can however be assumed that incidence in this enterprise size category is extremely low.2

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.