UK - Media giant EMAP is offering employees a choice between approximately £600 in cash immediately or £800 of shares in two years' time as part of its share plan.
EMAP group benefits manager Stewart Grant said that employees who joined the firm in 2000 were given £800 of shares – which are currently held in trust – after completing a year at the firm.
The share plan’s rules state that after three years, employees can either take them out and sell them or keep them in the trust for the full five-year term. However, if they withdraw the shares now, employees will have to pay tax on them.
And when combined with the current value of EMAP’s share price, Grant said that employees will receive around £600. But if they choose to keep the shares in trust, workers will be given £800 by the company. Approximately 94% of EMAP’s employees are members of its “free” share plan.
Grant said: “Even though they have to pay tax, employees can get cash in the free shares they got three years ago. But after five years, they don’t have to pay tax at all. So if they take their shares now, it means that rather than it being just a paper exercise over three years, people can get cash in hand.
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