National Express extends sharesave scheme

National Express has launched a new sharesave scheme which has been extended to National Express East Coast (NXEC) for the first time.

The move follows a successful bid by National Express to take over the contract to run the East Coast Main Line franchise from GNER last year.

National Express had previously operated a sharesave scheme but this is the first time that former GNER staff – now with NXEC – have had the chance to participate in such an arrangement.

A quarter of the NXEC workforce have taken the opportunity to join the three-year sharesave scheme, which commences this month.

When the scheme matures in three years’ time members will have the option of using their savings to buy shares at a 10% discount on the share price at the start of the scheme or to take the savings they have accrued along with a bonus.

Jane Birch, HR compensation and benefits manager at NXEC, said the business had gone through a major reorganisation but had worked hard on maintaining continuity for its staff in terms of benefits.

She added: “A sharesave scheme is an excellent addition to what we had and [this move will] hopefully bring stability to the workforce for quite a few years.”

NXEC is also offering its 3,000 staff the opportunity to make contributions into the final salary railway pension scheme via a salary sacrifice arrangement, therefore producing savings on national insurance contributions for both employers and staff.

Following a sustained communications programme, 85% of the workforce have opted to make contributions to the scheme via salary sacrifice.