ESOP report: Record number of employers offering approved share schemes
A record 12,500 UK organisations operated at least one of the four tax-advantaged government share schemes last year, according to the Employee Share Ownership Centre’s (Esop) annual analysis of statistics from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The report, Employee share schemes statistics for 2009-10, published by HMRC on 30 June, showed that some of the four government-approved schemes, which include sharesave, share incentive plans (Sip), company share option plans (Csop), and enterprise management incentives (EMI), are in decline.
Of these schemes, only EMI fared better than the previous year. HMRC reported that 10,610 organisations operated an EMI scheme in 2009-10, an increase of 110 on 2008-09.
Malcolm Hurlston, chairman of Esop, said: “EMI is inexpensive to the public purse as, on the whole, if an organisation offering such a plan does well the extra tax revenue generated covers the relief given.
“The government can do more to promote the scheme with better liaison between the Treasury and business. It seemingly answers the coalition’s prayers as a cheap way to encourage growth in the [small and medium-sized enterprises] sector.”
The number of employees to whom options were granted under the all-employee sharesave increased by 120,000 staff, nearly 20%. This is despite 70 fewer organisations operating such a plan.