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This was intended to encourage employee share ownership by providing tax incentives for those becoming employee shareholders. However, in return, employee shareholders have to give up some of their employment rights.

There is a complex process that has to be followed to create employee shareholder status. In particular, employee shareholders have to be given detailed information about their share award and the rights that they are giving up.

They then have to receive independent legal advice on the proposed arrangement and must also be given the benefit of a seven day “cooling off” period before the arrangement can be finalised.

Employee shareholders must receive at least £2,000 worth of shares in their employer (or a parent company), at no cost to them. Assuming various conditions are met, there will not be a liability for income tax or national insurance contributions in relation to the grant of shares, and capital gains tax will not be payable when the shares are sold.

In return, employee shareholders give up various employment rights, most significantly the right to claim unfair dismissal (apart from in relation to certain dismissals) and the right to a statutory redundancy payment.

We are experienced at advising on employee shareholder status. In particular, we can help ensure the implementation of employee shareholder status is effected correctly so as not to undermine the tax efficiency of the arrangement.

Further, we can advise employees’ on the rights they are giving up and whether, as a result, they are sufficiently protected by their contractual notice periods which become much more important in the absence of unfair dismissal rights.

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Our Approach

Our employment solicitors are dedicated to assisting and advising on how to achieve your business objectives in the most efficient and practical way. We pride ourselves on providing straightforward and bespoke advice tailored to your business requirements and resources.

We understand that employers need to be decisive and act calmly but quickly in the context of the current coronavirus crisis.

Your work will be carried out by a qualified solicitor in the team, who knows your business requirements best. Work is also carried out at the appropriate level, depending on the complexity, sensitivity and importance of the matter. 

We work closely with our clients to ensure that we meet their expectations both in terms of their objectives and in relation to costs. We are aware that clarity on costs is vitally important to our clients, especially at a time when businesses are challenged by sudden and dramatic changes to economic circumstances.

As standard practice, we give our clients an estimate of the costs involved in undertaking any piece of work at the outset. We then provide cost updates on a regular basis. We are also happy to discuss fixed fees and retainer arrangements and agreements if that is helpful.

Our Experience

Recent examples of work in this area include:

  • Acting for the directors of a national company in relation to their planned employee shareholder status, including advising on the rights they were giving up in accordance with the rules of employee shareholder status legislation
  • Providing the necessary independent legal advice to a group of senior managers in relation to their employee shareholder status, funded by the employer. Ensuring that we quickly and efficiently hit tight commercially imposed deadlines
  • Attending a group of senior executives in the Midlands to explain and advise on the employee shareholder status regime.

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Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Joanne Evans

Joanne Evans

Jo is a Partner and Head of our Employment department

Joanne Henderson

Joanne Henderson

Jo is a Partner in both our Employment and Compliance departments

Charlotte Gilbert

Charlotte Gilbert

Charlotte is the Head of Myerson HR and a Senior Associate in our Employment department

Patrick Byrne

Patrick Byrne

Patrick is an Associate in our Employment department

Jordan Buckle

Jordan Buckle

Jordan is a Solicitor in our Employment department

Vicki Fagan

Vicki Fagan

Vicki is a Solicitor in our Employment Department.

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0161 941 4000