A series of roadshows are being held around the UK to publicise the new All-Employee Share Plan, the Inland Revenue announced today.
The Roadshows, to be run by the Inland Revenue and ProShare are designed for companies thinking about setting up a new employee share plan. They will be held between now and the end of January across Britain, starting in Edinburgh, and including Newcastle, Leeds, Peterborough, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London.
The keynote addresses will be given by local MPs, and companies already involved in employee shareholding will explain the benefits of employee share ownership to their business. Companies attending the Roadshows will be able to discover what the new plan could offer them and their employees. They will also discover what help is available from the Revenue and ProShare to set up a plan.
Financial Secretary Stephen Timms, said:
“What we have embarked on is a twenty year programme to build a new Britain which will be modern and decent. The new all employee share plan is exactly the type of initiative we need to take forward both strands of that commitment. We have devised a plan that is the most generous all employee plan ever introduced into the UK. It is a plan which offers significant tax benefits to both employees and companies and will appeal to companies both big and small by offering a range of different features.”
Tony Hobman, Chief Executive of ProShare, added:
“This new plan is one of the best initiatives for share ownership in many years. Its flexibility and the tax benefits should make it attractive to smaller companies. The Roadshows provide a perfect opportunity for such companies to find out exactly how the plan could work for them.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. ProShare is a non-profit making organisation dedicated to promoting responsible shareholding. One of its major roles is to provide assistance to companies with employee share schemes or those interested in establishing them. It runs training courses for companies and works closely with them to promote best practice.
2. Roadshow date and venues:
6 December Thistle Hotel, Leith Street, Edinburgh
8 December Posthouse, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
9 December Marriott Hotel, Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, Leeds
10 December Swallow Hotel, Lynch Wood, Peterborough Business Park
11 January Cardiff Thistle Hotel, Park Place, Cardiff
13 January Holiday Inn Express, University Street, Belfast
17 January Baltic Exchange, 38 St Mary Axe, London EC3
18 January Thistle Hotel, Portland Street, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
19 January Moat House Hotel, Colemore Row, Birmingham
20 January Swallow Royal Hotel, College Green, Bristol
21 January Baltic Exchange, 38 St Mary Axe, London EC3
3. To coincide with the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget announcement of the new plan, draft legislation has been published by the Inland Revenue and comments on this have been invited by 28 January. The Government intends that legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2000.
4. Further information on the new plan and on the Roadshows can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website and on ProShare’s website:
5. The new all-employee plan will be an important step towards achieving the Chancellor’s aim of doubling the number of companies offering shares to all their employees. Since March 1999, the Inland Revenue have been working with an advisory group of share scheme practitioners, representatives of business and the trade unions and a leading academic to draw up the detailed rules of the plan. ProShare have set up focus groups of up to 60 companies which have also commented directly.
6. At present some 1,750 companies offer shares to all their employees and around 2 million employees participate in existing Inland Revenue approved share schemes. These schemes cost the Exchequer in the region of 1 billion pounds a year.
7. Ministers have said that no decisions about the existing Inland Revenue approved schemes will be taken until everyone has had the opportunity to comment of the draft legislation.
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