House of Commons
Fair tax and employee share ownership
EDM #268
Tabled 09 March 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House supports employee share ownership and believes that such schemes reward loyalty and hard work by giving employees a real stake in their company with tax breaks; commends the Social Market Foundation's report entitled Strengthening Employee Ownership in the UK; notes that the Roadchef Employee Benefits Trust, the first tax exempt all-employee share ownership scheme of its kind in the UK approved by the then UK Government and HMRC, was missed from the list of all-employee share ownership schemes that currently benefit from tax breaks under existing legislation because it was stripped of its assets by Roadchef's former CEO in breach of trust; further notes that Trustees subsequently recovered compensation from HMRC and the former CEO but are prevented from distributing this vital money to approximately 4,000 beneficiaries, mainly low-paid former and current cleaning and catering staff of Roadchef, because HMRC are still considering what taxes to charge the Trust and its beneficiaries; believes this dispute could be swiftly resolved by correcting existing legislation to add the Trust to the list of all-employee share ownership schemes and to ensure that schemes of this nature do not lose their tax exempt status where the trustee has restored monies to the Trust following a breach of trust as in the Roadchef case; and calls on the UK Government to propose an amendment to existing legislation in the Finance Bill to ensure that beneficiaries under the Roadchef scheme are exempt from tax as intended by previous Labour and Conservative Governments and to expedite payouts quickly.