Supermarket chain Asda’s sharesave scheme regularly sees millions of pounds paid out to employees in shares when the three-year plan matures.
In July 2013, staff shared £61.7 million under parent organisation Walmart’s three-year sharesave scheme, with payouts to individual employees ranging from £3,000 to more than £15,000.
Sarah Lawson, shares and fleet manager at Asda, says: “The sharesave scheme is one of our most popular benefits. The take-up has increased year-on-year.”
The scheme saw its highest take-up in 2013, when more than 34,000 employees took part. To help boost take-up and clarify details about saving through sharesave, Asda takes pains to communicate the scheme to employees . This year it has focused on answering key questions from staff, such as whether the scheme is for everyone, and whether employees can get their savings back.
“We focused on trying to make communications clear,” says Lawson. “We [send] invitations, which go out to each employee with certain information about when they can join the scheme, and we also have a guide that goes out to our people managers and general store managers explaining how the scheme works.”
Although the new, higher investment limits come into force on 6 April 2014, Asda is looking to implement these from 2015 to allow more time to prepare.
“We are looking at the feasibility of it for our organisation,” says Lawson. “We are also looking at the number of employees currently paying in the maximum, what we think employees’ mentality is about wanting to save up to £500 a month, and we are getting advice from our legal teams and contacts about the administration and the rules.
“We won’t be able to do it for this year, but we are looking at it for 2015.”