Invensys has launched an all-employee sharesave scheme for the first time across 11 countries.
In the UK, the technology group’s approved sharesave scheme was rolled out to 3,386 staff in September, and a further 9,929 staff were eligible for an unapproved plan across 10 other countries, including China, Spain, the US, Singapore and Australia.
Jessica Wildgoose, Invensys group secretarial assistant, said retention was a key driver in launching the scheme. “It is a good benefit for staff who are willing to stay at the company for three years,” she said.
Employees who take part in the scheme can save between £5 and £250 a month for three years, with an option at the end of the savings period to use their savings to buy Invensys shares at a fixed discounted price.
Alternatively, staff will be able to simply take their savings on maturation, plus a bonus. For UK staff, the shares and the bonus will be tax-free.
Invensys had to impose a limit on the number of shares on offer to each staff member, so that the total requested did not exceed the amount available.
One-third of its UK employees have opted to join the scheme, while average take-up across the 11 countries was 16%.
Due to the scheme’s global nature, Invensys had to make allowances for certain cultural differences. For example, in China, it is difficult to arrange mass savings through the workplace, so employees were asked to set up their own bank account into which to pay their monthly savings.
The scheme was communicated primarily using a poster campaign, with posters translated into local languages. Employees could also ask local or regional scheme co-ordinators specific questions.
Staff could then join the scheme online or by telephone.
“A lot of employees work in factories, so average earnings are not high,” said Wildgoose. “It was hard to communicate that it was a worthwhile scheme.”
The scheme is administered by Yorkshire Building Society.
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