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Financial Participation

The introduction of any employee financial participation scheme is not unilateral (by the employer) but is only possible subject to prior consultation with the social partners. On a national level, the central trade unions are rather reserved on employee financial participation.


In French trade union circles, the question of employee financial participation – especially profit-sharing – is a mainline subject. Trade unions, as representatives mainly of blue collar workers, tend to be critical of any employee financial participation schemes for white collar workers which might lead to an increase in the wage differentials between the two groups. Trade unions strictly oppose any form of participation substituting regular wages. Employee financial participation is supported when it supplements regular wages and strengthens co-determination.


The four trade unions CFE-CGC, CFDT, CFTC and CGT established an inter-trade-union committee for employee savings (Comité intersyndical de l’épargne salariale) in 2002 with the task of evaluating the different investment forms offered to employees. The objective is the promotion of participation schemes offered by banks, insurance companies and mutual funds which are seen by trade unions as best corresponding to employee interests with respect to quality and level of administrational costs.

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.