Staff share oil profits

Oil Spill Response, a not-for-profit organisation owned by over thirty oil companies worldwide, has re-launched its employee phantom share scheme.

It is unable to offer a Revenue-approved share scheme to staff because it has no shares of its own, so offers to match staff contributions of up to 5% of their salary and invest the money in shares of six of its 33 owners.

The scheme, which employees can join every April and is run by the Share Centre, holds the shares until they mature at the end of its third year, when staff can transfer the shares into their own name or cash them in.

Neil Brindle, HR manager, said take up had been between 30% and 60% since the scheme’s introduction in 2000. He added that although staff had no vested interest in how the companies being invested in performed, the organisation’s matching contributions gave them an incentive to join. "[If an employee leaves before the scheme matures] they are entitled to their contribution back plus interest, but they don’t get the company contributions back," added Brindle.