Government action is needed to increase the appeal of employee share schemes, ProShare claims

London, 12 February 2020 – ProShare, the voice of the employee share ownership industry in the UK, has today welcomed the report on Employee Share Ownership that was published by the Social Market Foundation at the start of the week, but voiced an opinion that Government action is required to help companies promote the benefits of share ownership more effectively to employees.  

Peter Swabey, Director of ProShare comments:

“We would welcome increased priority being given to employee share schemes, as recommended by this week’s the Social Market Foundation’s Employee Share Ownership report. There is a strong case for employees having a stake in their company’s profitability. Employees do the work and there is clear evidence that companies benefit through a productivity boost.

“We see exemplary work by companies to promote share offers to their employees. Proshare’s annual survey shows an average take up of Save As You Earn schemes amongst staff of 86%, for example. Companies are becoming more innovative at promotion as well as adapting to the kind of communications expected by employees used to accessing their bank account through their mobile phone.

“But employee share schemes have been going since the 1970’s and do need to adapt to the changing nature of employment if they are to remain relevant. There are some simple steps which could increase take up, especially amongst younger employees.

“We particularly agree with the SMF report’s recommendation that Government reduce the time employees have to be part of a share incentive plan. Employees have to wait five years before they can realise the full benefits of their scheme without incurring tax liabilities for withdrawing early. Our research shows one in four do not join because they are put off by this length of commitment. This is especially true of younger employees starting out in their career who simply do not imagine they might be with the same employer for five years.

“We also recommend that regulations are amended so that leaving for a new job, which may offer career progression, a pay rise or greater flexibility to care for a family member should be an acceptable reason for leaving a scheme.”


 For further information please contact:

Maria Brookes, Media Relations Manager:

+44 (0)20 7612 7072

+44 (0)7890 649 143


Notes to Editors:

ProShare is a part of The Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland. 

ProShare is the voice of the employee share ownership industry in the UK. It was established in 1992 by the Government, the London Stock Exchange and a number of FTSE 100 companies to promote Employee Share Ownership. ProShare is a not-for-profit membership organisation, funded by its members and its commercial activities.

More information:

For a copy of Proshare’s annual SAYE and SIP report, please contact

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