Employee Share Schemes

Unapproved Share Option Plan

Employee share option plans are designed and established to meet different corporate objectives. Where those objectives cannot be cannot be achieved under an H M Revenue & Customs approved Company Share Option Plan an unapproved share option plan may be appropriate.


The conditions set out in the tax legislation regarding the types of shares which may be used, the company that may establish the plan, limits on number of shares etc. do not apply. Other regulatory requirements such as the Companies Act, the Financial Services Act and in appropriate cases guidelines of the various investment committees of institutional investors and the listing rules of the Stock Exchange should be observed.

Tax Treatment

As the plan does not conform with the requirements of the relevant tax legislation no special tax reliefs will be available. In certain circumstances no NIC will be payable.


  • Can stimulate an employees performance due to the possible financial rewards;
  • An effective staff recruitment and retention strategy; and
  • Flexibility in the type of shares and conditions attaching to those shares which may be used.

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ESS Consultants is a trading name of Elman Wall Limited, company number 3261197, registered in England and Wales. Elman Wall Limited is registered to carry on audit work and regulated for a range of investment activities by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.