Retiring French boss gives staff more than €2.6million in bonuses

It’s not so much generosity as recognition, he said. His staff praised the firm’s ‘family business spirit’

A businessman handing over euros in cash
The money will be paid over the course of three years, depending on how long the employee has been working at the firm
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A company boss in western France has left more than €2.6million to his employees from the sale of his firm upon retirement.

Jean-Yves Glumineau was head of insulation glazing company TIV in Vendée (Pays de la Loire) for 18 years, over which time the turnover soared by a factor of five.

On retirement, the boss decided to sell up, and share €2.68million with his 150 team members and staff.

The money will be paid over the course of three years, with each employee receiving the equivalent of €10 for each day that they worked at the company.

The first payments were made in January.

Mr Glumineau told France 3 Pays de la Loire: “You never achieve anything alone, and if my team members had not brought in projects that I liked; if they did not have this ambition to grow the company, we would not be where we are today.

“I always talked about things being ‘win-win’. If the business makes more, the staff make more. It’s not so much generosity as recognition. It’s a legitimate bonus.

“The ambience, work conditions and relationships with clients contribute enormously to staff wellbeing, but payment is just as much part of it.”

One employee, Paolo Andrade, who has worked at the company since 1997, added : “He is a very sociable boss. On payday, he gives the payslip by hand to each worker. I’ve never seen that anywhere else. The results are shown in the fruits of our labour, but it’s also very rare to see a boss make such a [generous] gesture.”

Mr Andrade said he had just finished renovating his house, and that the extra bonus would “allow him to do my kitchen”. “I’ll also be able to help my family,” he said.

Another worker, Vanessa Quintana, said that the gift was “totally unexpected”, and said that Mr Glumineau had helped to create “a family business spirit” that “contributes to comfortable working conditions”.

She said that employees call Mr Glumineau “Jean-Yves”, and “tutoie” him, which in French means using the informal words for “you”, tu and toi, rather than the formal vous. This is still relatively rare when addressing your boss.

Another worker, Kevin Lemosle said: “I’ll be able to put aside some savings. It’s a big boost for me. I’ll be able to get my motorbike riding licence, for example.”

However, Mr Glumineau has lamented that around 60% of the bonuses will end up being paid in fees due to employer and social charges.

He condemned the charges as “confiscatory”, saying that “it’s such a shame to want to reward your employees but for so much money to be taken away from them in charges”.

Mr Glumineau is now hoping to change the law, and first wrote to MPs and Senators in 2019 on the subject.

He said: “I really want to set new rules. I'm certainly not the only boss who shares this kind of belief. But you need the tools to be motivated to do it.”

Mr Glumineau is hoping that other company heads will be inspired to do something similar for their staff.

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