UK firms extend share incentive schemes to overseas staff

British multi-nationals are finally extending share
incentive schemes to their employees in other countries.

A
survey by Watson Wyatt shows that global share plans are being operated by a
growing number of FTSE 350 companies.

The
survey reveals that 64% of companies are extending their employee share plans
outside the UK.  

Richard
Cockman, a partner at Watson Wyatt, thinks the research indicates that many
firms operating in other countries are feeling the need to provide employees with
greater incentives in the face of increasingly competitive global HR markets.

But
the research also reveals many companies feel constrained by perceived complex
legislation in other countries, as well as tax and exchange rate issues
involved in setting up the plan worldwide.

Cockman,
said, “Companies considering introducing share plans have concerns about
complex administration, inappropriate pay conditions and the cost of the
operation.

“Our
findings suggest that such companies may unnecessarily fear challenges and
underestimate other issues when planning the introduction of a global share
plan.”

The
most commonly available type of global share plan on offer by UK firms to
foreign employees were savings-related, with 60% of companies operating global
schemes offering such schemes.

Share
purchase schemes are used by 37% of companies, and only 17% operate ‘free
shares’ schemes.

By Robert De La Poer

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