Today’s Budget was notable for the absence of announcements relating to employee share plans. So, despite the calls for it to be abolished, employee shareholder status lives to fight another day. This is perhaps not surprising given the enthusiasm George Osborne showed for the concept when it was first announced. As we have commented, ESS is beginning to prove a useful tool, but perhaps not as the Government originally intended.

Of course, we are still waiting to see final legislation to give effect to changes to UK option plans announced last year. The Finance Bill is due to be published next week so we will return to this subject shortly.