The number of employees who choose to take up shares in the organisation for which they work has risen in the past year, according to new research by IFS Proshare.
The annual IFS Proshare Employee share plan survey has found increases in the participation of both sharesave schemes and share incentive plans (Sips).
The number of employees in sharesave schemes rose by more than 150,000 to just over 1.2 million in 2012, while the number of employees in Sips rose from 908,905 to 960,988.
The research also found that employees are saving more into share plans, with £105.83 saved per month into sharesaves in 2012, up from £82.02 per month in 2008. Employees are also saving more into Sips, with a monthly average investment of £83.37 in 2012, up from £71.86 in 2011.
John Collison (pictured), head of employee share ownership at IFS Proshare, said: “With all of the FTSE indices showing steady rises over the past 18 months and several recent examples of employees directly benefiting from share plan maturities, many of the UK’s employees are keen to explore how share ownership can boost their savings.
“Similarly, given the strong performance of organisations such as BT [Group] that operate successful employee share ownership schemes, business leaders are looking at incentives that boost productivity and reduce staff turnover.
“These figures again demonstrate that employee share ownership is a popular, tax-efficient incentive for employees at all levels. And, following the review by the Office for Tax Simplification for streamlining the processes by which employee share plans are administered in the coming year, it will become simpler for businesses and their employees to implement such schemes.”