Tax: Employee share plans

For both listed and unlisted companies, employee share plans can play a crucial role in the recruitment and retention of employees at all levels within their business, especially since some forms of employee share plan attract tax favourable treatment in the UK.

The most commonly adopted employee share plans in the UK fall broadly into three categories – discretionary share option plans, long-term incentive plans and all-employee share plans. Participation in these employee share plans is not limited to UK employees, and multi-national companies may extend participation in these plans to employees resident in jurisdictions outside the UK (subject to compliance with regulatory and securities laws in those jurisdictions). Maximum flexibility can be provided through the adoption of non-HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) approved share plans and/or the design of bespoke arrangements…

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