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 productivity and unlock growth. Times change and in January this year Nick Clegg referred to employee shareholder status as a “pet project” and called for it to be abolished because of its poor take up.
So whilst the politicians shift their ground, what do businesses think of employee shareholder status? Is anybody actually using it? We think it can be a useful incentivisation tool and take up is on the increase.
Six months after the introduction of employee shareholder status, we have put together a short summary looking at what it is, who is using it and what lessons have been learnt in its short lifetime.