Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on share schemes
Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on share schemes

The following Share Incentives practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on share schemes
  • The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) and the Job Support Scheme (JSS)
  • Impact of the coronavirus crisis and the CJRS/JSS on enterprise management incentives (EMI) schemes
  • The working time requirement and CJRS/JSS
  • EMI number of employees test
  • EMI valuations
  • Impact of the coronavirus crisis on save as you earn (SAYE) schemes
  • SAYE employment condition and CJRS/JSS
  • Specific choices for employees with SAYE options
  • Impact of the coronavirus crisis on share incentive plans (SIPs)
  • More...

The government has announced a number of measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis either that relate specifically to the UK tax regime, or that HMRC is administering. For further details, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—tax implications. This Practice Note provides a high level picture of some of the ways that the coronavirus crisis may impact subsisting tax-advantaged share schemes and keeps abreast of the changes in guidance and legislation released by HMRC.

This Practice Note also looks at how companies can deal with underwater share options and unsuitable performance conditions resulting from the subsequent economic climate. These sections are relevant to all share plans.

The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) and the Job Support Scheme (JSS)

The Coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS), announced on 20 March 2020, provides support to UK employers with a grant to enable them to continue paying up to 80% of their employees’ salary not worked (up to £2,500 per employee per month) for those employees that have been ‘furloughed’ during the coronavirus outbreak (backdated to 1 March 2020 and originally available until the end of October 2020 (with, from August 2020, ‘greater flexibility’ for furloughed workers to be able to return to work part-time)) provided that, among other things, those employees were on the relevant business’ PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC

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