Employee Shareholder Status

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Employee shareholder status

The UK government has announced the abolition of the tax benefits of employee shareholder status in today’s Autumn Statement. The change applies to shares issued on or after 1 December 2016. Since there has to be a minimum 7 clear days notice between the individual employee being advised on the implications of employee shareholder status … Continue Reading

Not dead yet: employee shareholder shares (“shares for rights”)

A couple of items relevant to employee shareholder status shares (ESSs) have appeared this week. First, HMRC reported in its latest Employment-Related Securities Bulletin that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has confirmed that already-issued shares – for example, those held by a shareholder or an employee benefit trust – can be used … Continue Reading

Employee ownership: another nail in the coffin?

Although it is dated June 2014, BIS has just published the Government’s response to the consultation last November asking whether it would help the cause of employee ownership were the limit on the life of an employee benefit trust (currently 80 years) to be removed. There weren’t many responses (28) and no strong feeling/evidence either way, … Continue Reading

UK Budget 2014 – all quiet on the share plans front

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 … Continue Reading

Who says employee shareholder status should be scrapped?

On 1 September 2013, employee shareholder status was introduced, bringing with it a favourable tax regime for UK employees willing to forfeit some of their employment rights in return for free shares in their employer. In January 2012 Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg urged businesses to offer shares to their employees, saying it would improve … Continue Reading

Further growing pains for employee shareholder shares and employee ownership buy-backs

The minutes of the last meeting of HMRC’s Employment Related Securities Forum, attended by representatives of BIS, companies and various bodies involved in tax and employee shares, were recently published and make interesting reading. The largest section is devoted to employee shareholder (ES) shares – the so-called “shares for rights”. Points raised were: Feedback: BIS … Continue Reading

Easier share buy-backs: towards a John Lewis economy

As part of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s “John Lewis economy” project, last autumn the UK Government consulted on changes to the share buy-back legislation to enable companies more easily to increase employee ownership. View the BIS report on these changes. As a result, regulations have now come into force that will amend the Companies … Continue Reading