In the past thirty years, more and more attention has been paid to the effects of employee participation on company performance. What might be the effect of it on long-term company performance? How could increased employee influence affect corporate strategy and decision-making?

There are two main forms through which employees can participate directly to the life of a publicly traded company: through ownership of the company’s shares, and through representation on the board of directors.

Employee ownership usually results from “direct participation plans”, which provide a streamlined (and often discounted, tax-efficient) means for workers to invest in the company, with clearly established caps and conditions. Employee representation on the board of directors means that employees themselves, or a body representing employees, can appoint a representative to sit on the board of directors.

Glass Lewis’ new Worker Participation white paper provides a global overview of both ownership and representation with focus on the European market. We outline the level of participation around the world on a market-by-market basis, and dive deep into how employees are treated in European markets including Germany, France and the UK. Case studies, covering companies such as Rolls-Royce, Volkswagen and Vinci, illustrate the varying approaches taken by different companies and different countries.

As part of our research library, the Worker Participation white paper is available to Glass Lewis clients on Viewpoint and, or you can contact your Client Service Manager. Non-clients who are interested in the report can request a copy by emailing