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HMRC’s latest Employment-Related Securities Bulletins focus on the impact of COVID-19 on employee share and incentive schemes. Here is our enhanced version.

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI): Working time

    1. Mr A was granted EMI options in March 2015 and has worked 40 hours a week for his employer throughout the life of the options. On 25 March 2020, Mr A was furloughed by his employer under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and remains in furlough. HMRC will accept that this is related to the Coronavirus pandemic and EMI options remain qualifying.
    2. Ms B was granted EMI options in January 2020 and worked 30 hours a week for that Company Z. She also worked 10 hours a week for Company Y. On 11 May 2020, her hours at Company Z were reduced to 20 hours per week. If the reduction in hours is due to the Coronavirus pandemic then HMRC will accept that EMI options remain qualifying.
    3. Ms C was granted EMI options in September 2018 whilst working 37 hours a week for her employer. On 1 April 2020, Ms C took unpaid leave. HMRC may accept that this is related to the Coronavirus pandemic. Employers and employees must document the circumstances and show there was a requirement to take unpaid leave because of the Coronavirus pandemic. If this is the case the EMI options will remain qualifying.
    4. Mr D was placed on furlough by Company X on 1 April 2020 for reasons connected to the Coronavirus pandemic. Prior to this date, he was employed full time. Company X wish to grant him EMI options on 1 June 2020 while he remains on furlough. Mr D can be granted qualifying EMI options provided that all the other requirements of Schedule 5 ITEPA are met at the time of grant.

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI): Full-Time Equivalent employees

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI): State aid

Save As You Earn (SAYE): Contact details

See ISA guide

Save As You Earn (SAYE): Extended payment holiday

HMRC have included four examples to clarify how the 12-month extended payment holiday for SAYE referred to in the June 2020 Bulletin will apply:

  1. If a SAYE participant had already postponed contributions by up to 12 months pre-COVID and did not resume their payments on the 13th occasion, their SAYE contracts will be cancelled. The extended payment holiday terms will therefore not apply to those participants.
  2. If a SAYE participant postponed contributions up to the maximum 12 months but resumed payments on the 13th occasion and then after Coronavirus became furloughed or on unpaid leave and needed to postpone contributions again to their SAYE plan then they will benefit from the extended pause.
  3. If a participant had postponed payments by up to 11 months in February 2020 and became furloughed in March 2020 and as a result then missed contributions in April and May a total of 13 months payments will have been missed. If the missed payments were the result of Coronavirus then the extended payment holiday terms will apply in these circumstances.
  4. Participants who were due to resume payments on the 13th occasion in March 2020 but who were then furloughed or took unpaid leave due to Coronavirus and who were then unable to afford to resume payments, the extended payment holiday will apply to them.

Deadlines for registration of new schemes, filing of returns and notifying new EMI options

See Shares, securities & options: Tax compliance and Employment-Related Securities: Reporting issues

External links 

HMRC ERS Bulletin July 2020

HMRC ERS Bulletin October 2020