The Irish ProShare Association today welcomed Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s announcement of a dedicated share options incentive scheme for SMEs.
The Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) was announced in Minister Donohoe’s Budget 2018 address to the Dail. It will support small and medium sized businesses in their efforts to attract and retain key employees in a competitive international labour market, by providing for an advantageous tax treatment on share options. KEEP will allow SMEs to provide key employees with a financial incentive linked to the success of the company.
IPSA has long advocated the introduction of a share-based incentive scheme for SMEs, and engaged with the Government to achieve it. Speaking about KEEP yesterday, IPSA CEO Gill Brennan said: “This is good news for SMEs throughout Ireland. Minister Donohue has honoured the Government’s commitment to introduce a share-based incentive scheme which will help them compete against larger companies for talent.
“IPSA awaits the details of KEEP with interest. If the scheme is to mirror the success of similar initiatives elsewhere in Europe, it needs to be affordable for companies, attractive for their employees, and easily implemented in terms of its administration.”
“SMEs are the backbone of the Irish Economy. There are more than 240,000 of them, employing more than 1.3 million people. The introduction of an incentive scheme for SMEs at this crucial juncture in the face of Brexit will level the playing field competitively with many other EU countries by helping SMEs attract and keep key talent.”
“It is incumbent on the Minister and his department to ensure that those eligible to avail of and benefit from the KEEP scheme announced today understand what is involved. They must educate and provide the promotional support to make this happen.
“The impact of KEEP could be felt across the Irish economy. Employees who are shareholders in the companies they work for are more motivated and more productive, and their companies become more successful. KEEP has the potential to benefit every business and every employee in Ireland.”