Wincanton reduces its qualifying time for Sip

Transport company Wincanton has boosted staff take up of its share incentive plan (Sip) by reducing the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

The move, which reduced employees’ required length of service from one year to just three months, was accompanied by a new promotional campaign that began in September.

Since then the numbers of staff enrolled in the Sip have doubled to 700. Fiona Chamberlain, group payroll and benefits manager, said: “We’ve made a big effort to promote it and that’s reflected in the applications coming in.”

Wincanton employs about 20,000 staff in the UK and has operated share incentive plans since January 2005. It offers employees one free share for every four purchased.

Chamberlain added that the company’s share price performance helped to sell the benefit, claiming it had generally performed well despite fluctuations. “If you look at our graph over the last 12-to-18 months, it’s a a bit of a yo-yo. It’s gone up and down. When we launched it was about £2.60.” she said.

At the time of going to press, its share price had risen to £3.38.

Next month, the scheme will be extended to staff of several companies acquired by Wincanton. Last month, it announced the acquisition of The Lane Group, a home delivery company, and RDL Holdings, a provider of supply chain services to the building products and construction industries.

In addition, it will take on more than 1,000 employees as a result of extending a distribution contract with supermarket chain Somerfield.

Chamberlain explained that this will boost the company’s workforce by approximately 2,000 staff.

Jamin Robertson