Budget 2008: EMI schemes limited to firms with fewer than 250 staff

Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) schemes are to be limited to companies that have less than 250 members of staff.

However, the government has issued measures to increase the individual option grant limit for EMI schemes from £100,000 to £120,000. This means that employees in these schemes will have a higher limit on the value of their shares.

This type of share plan was designed for small to medium enterprises and is part of the government’s plan to encourage employees to be more entrepreneurial. Although there has been restrictions on EMI schemes before, this is the first time that they are being restricted depending on the size of the company.

Fiona Downes, head of employee share ownership at IFS ProShare, said: “Larger companies might see this as a negative move, but considering that these schemes were designed to help smaller companies grow, I guess it makes sense.”