Spanish Sociedades Laborales (SLs) – mostly small and micro enterprises – are a qualified form of conventional corporation, majority-owned by their permanent employees. The new 2015 Law on Worker-Owned and Participatory Companies substantially modernised the concept of SLs 30 years after its inception. This book is aimed at analysing the concept of SL and its development as well as how it can be advanced into an active labour market policy instrument in other EU countries. It is also a unique study of the survival rate of a large sample of employee owned firms compared to their conventional competitors.
Unemployed persons can capitalise their unemployment benefits as a lump sum to start a new SL or to recapitalise an existing SL by joining it. This makes SLs similar to start-ups funded by subsidies for the unemployed, an established instrument of active labour market policy across the EU. SLs provide an unemployed person who joins or sets up a SL not only with access to capital but with business and entrepreneurial mentoring and practical expertise. These enterprises also play an important role in job creation and expanding secondary employment. They are based on employee ownership whose demonstrated benefits complement the policy aims of ALMPs.
There are no obstacles to transfering the SL experience to other EU Member States; the model has important benefits that make it particularly suitable when combined with existing national start-up schemes for the unemployed.