From now on employees can be minority shareholders, as long as they constitute a majority within the workers’ cooperative. They will have seven years to become majority shareholders. In this way, it will be easier for employees to complete a turnaround, and to progressively regain control of their company with the help of non-cooperative stakeholders.
An impact assessment was carried out at the time of the vote. This assessment suggested that within ten years there could be as many as 300-400 healthy businesses with more than ten salaried employees that become worker cooperatives. This figure would constitute 6-8% of all company takeovers. As a result of organisations transferring to worker cooperatives within the ten-year timeframe, 4,000-15,000 jobs would be secured or saved. This sentiment was echoed by Carole Delga, French Minister of State for the Social and Solidarity Economy, in a press release on 5th January; “Company takeovers by worker cooperatives will have a very positive effect on the French economy, because cooperative enterprises are particularly resistant to fluctuating economic conditions. 71% of worker cooperatives are still operational after three years, compared to 66% of traditional businesses”.