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Employee Share Schemes

If you are looking to recruit new employees, and/or incentivise and retain existing staff, an employee share scheme can be a tax efficient and cost effective option to form part of the remuneration package offered. Tens of thousands of UK companies use employee share schemes and the number is growing every year. 



Why offer an Employee Share Scheme?

Employee share schemes provide a way to give employees a current or future stake in your business and help improve its performance.  This helps to instil loyalty and motivate your employees which a normal remuneration package of salary, bonuses and benefits might not.  Similarly, they can be a useful tool for attracting new employees to the business by offering as part of their remuneration.

What schemes are available?

There are many different types of employee share schemes including share options or share awards, HMRC approved and unapproved.  Within these categories comes the many different schemes available.  It is a complex area and the appropriate scheme will depend on the objectives of the business as well as the needs of your employees.  We can help to advise you on the right one for your business tailored to your specific circumstances.

The two most common HMRC approved schemes for small and medium sized companies are Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) schemes and Employee Shareholder Status (ESS).  Both schemes operate differently but can offer significant tax incentives and are relatively flexible.  

For more information and a summary of the key features of these and some other common employee share schemes, please click here.

How can we help you?

Hazlewoods’ team of share scheme specialists will work closely with you to:

  • Advise on the most suitable plan for your business
  • Design the share scheme and value the shares
  • Obtain agreement from HMRC on the share valuation
  • Liaise directly with your solicitors responsible for producing the relevant legal documentation
  • Register the scheme with HMRC and assist with on-going reporting obligations (e.g. annual returns)


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