Letter: Employees benefit from share options

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The Independent Online
Sir: May I correct the impression (View from City Road, 19 August) that the option schemes referred to recently by Gordon Brown, the Shadow Chancellor, are available only to executives.

There is a single scheme under the 1984 Finance Act that covers all employees, whether executives or not. In practice, it has been used mainly for executives and become popularly known as the 'executive share option scheme'.

This, however, is a misnomer, and there is a trend (Wellcome, Alpha Airlines and Unipart are examples) towards using the option scheme for large numbers of employees.

Yours faithfully,

MALCOLM HURLSTON

Chairman, ESOP Centre

London, EC1

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