Over 30,000 companies are to get help and advice on setting up new all-employee share plans from a series of Roadshows, run by the Inland Revenue and ProShare.
The Roadshows, which began in December and are continuing this month, are helping companies find out what the Government’s new employee share plan can offer them and their employees. Companies already involved in employee shareholding will explain the benefits of employee share ownership.
Financial Secretary Stephen Timms, due to speak at the London Roadshow on 17 January, said:
“This is the most generous all employee plan ever introduced in the UK, offering significant tax benefits to both employees and companies. Its range of different features will appeal to both big and small companies. It is the type of initiative we need to build a new, modern and decent Britain “
Tony Hobman, Chief Executive of ProShare, said:
“This Roadshow provides a perfect opportunity for companies to find out exactly how the plan could work for them. It is one of the best initiatives for share ownership to be brought in for a number of years and its flexibility and the tax benefits should make it as attractive to the smaller businesses as the larger ones”.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The Roadshows are for companies only and are not intended for accountants or other professional business advisors. Over 30,000 invitations have already been sent to companies that may be interested and most sessions are now fully booked.
2. ProShare is a non-profit making organisation dedicated to promoting responsible share based investment. One of its major roles is to provide assistance to companies with share schemes or those interested in establishing them. It runs training courses for companies and works closely with them to promote best practice.
3. Roadshow venue for 17 January: Baltic Exchange, 38 St Mary Axe, London EC3.
This event is fully booked.
4. The Inland Revenue has published draft legislation to coincide with the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget announcement of the new plan and comments on this have already been invited. They can still be made up to 28 January. The Government intends that legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2000.
5. Further information on the new plan and on the Roadshows can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website and on ProShare’s website:
6. 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 has 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 has set up focus groups of up to 60 companies that have also commented directly.
7. Around 2 million employees participate in existing Inland Revenue approved share schemes with some 1,750 companies offering shares to all their employees. This costs the Exchequer in the region of 1 billion pounds a year.
8. Ministers have said that no decisions about the existing Inland Revenue approved schemes will be taken until everyone has had the opportunity to comment on the draft legislation.
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