Employee Share Schemes - Incentivising key personnel

26 November 2020

Adele Townsend, Partner, Tax |
Courtney Whitecross, Associate Director, Tax |

COVID-19 has been a challenging time for many. Some organisations have flourished, whilst others have struggled to make ends meet. Owners worried about cash flow, but wanting to retain key staff have had to look for alternatives to keep staff motivated and focussed on their organisation's future growth prospects.

This lateral thinking has seen a significant uplift in queries relating to Employee Share Schemes (ESS).  Constructing the correct ESS for your organisation can mean a win-win for owners and staff alike, as long as owners consider the tax implications in advance.

There are many benefits of setting up an ESS, such as:

  • Attracting, retaining and motivating employees
  • Providing employee benefits without cash outlay
  • Allowing employees to share in the organisation’s positive performance
  • Aligning organisation and employee interests
  • Motivating employees to remain employed with the organisation
  • Maximising tax benefits.

Setting up an ESS can be a complicated process. Our experts have outlined three of the most effective alternatives to incentivising staff whilst reducing the complexity involved.

Download our guide to learn more and read case studies that demonstrate how the structure implementation of ESS options can help grow your organisation.


You must consider many factors when determining the best ESS approach. If you need support or would like to discuss your situation, contact a BDO Tax adviser to find out what would suit your organisation best.