Borders UK closes share plan due to soaring stock

Borders UK has closed its employee share scheme for UK staff after a rise in the firm’s share price meant the benefit would be of little value. The book retailer, a subsidiary of Borders Group in the USA, originally introduced its employee stock purchase plan in order bring its benefits in line with those offered by its US parent. But the company had to shut down the facility for employees to receive shares because it felt that the current high price of shares meant staff would be unable to see a benefit in the near future. Liz Redway, HR manager in the UK, said: "When we offered stock options each employee would get a certain grant – essentially shares issued to the individual. But at the moment the share price is really high, so, there wasn’t a great monetary value to it." However, the company, which has around 30 stores in the UK, has also introduced a benevolent fund to help employees who find themselves on hard times. The scheme, which also originated from the US, was introduced last month. Redway added that if staff need money for domestic emergencies or family bereavements they would grant them a pay out. "It involves some investment from the company but we are going to do some fundraising. It’s a fairly significant benefit."