Kirkpatrick & Hopes - Succession Planning Accountants

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Simplification of employee share schemes

The Office of Tax Simplification (which may sound like an Orwellian creation, but it really does exist…) has just completed a review of employee share schemes. The review aims to simplify administration to encourage take up of these schemes and to reduce red tape.

It covers tax advantaged schemes as follows:

  • Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme
  • Share Incentive Plans (SIP)
  • Company Share Option Plans (CSOP)
  • Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI)

This should be good news for employers like K&H who are keen to promote the ‘John Lewis’ model for ownership spread across the workforce.

We at K&H are doing our bit to encourage the government to make changes along these lines too.

There seems to be an increasing tide of opinion towards employee ownership, which I am very encouraged to see. My only reservation is that, for most smaller businesses it is often far easier to simply give employees shares, even if they have restricted rights (such as ‘growth shares’) than to incur the cost of setting up more elaborate schemes like those listed above. I feel that more should be done to encourage these simpler arrangements.

For details, google ‘Office of Tax Simplification review of employee share schemes’.

What changes would be needed for you to want to give ownership of some of your business to its employees?

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