During his March 2020 budget speech, the Chancellor announced that the government intended to review its existing Enterprise and Management Scheme (EMI) to ensure it provides support for high-growth companies to recruit and retain the best talent so they can scale up effectively. 

The EMI scheme is a tax-advantaged share option scheme designed for businesses with company assets of £30 million or less and enables them to reward staff with equity participation.

The government has now published a call for evidence and is asking organisations for their views on whether:

  • the current scheme is fulfilling its policy objectives of helping SMEs recruit and retain employees;
  • companies that are ineligible for the EMI scheme because they have grown beyond the current qualification limits are experiencing structural difficulties (i.e. in the labour market) when recruiting and retaining employees;
  • the government should expand the EMI scheme to support high-growth companies; and
  • other forms of remunerations could provide similar benefits for retention and recruitment as EMI for high-growth companies.

You can read the policy paper here and have until Wednesday 26 May 2021 to respond.