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Employee Share Purchase Plans

Employee share purchase plans (ESPPs) offer a valuable opportunity for employees to become shareholders in their own company. As one of the top accountancy firms in Dublin, we understand the importance of fostering employee engagement and aligning their interests with the success of the organisation.

These plans, also known as employee share ownership plans, provide numerous benefits, including fostering a sense of ownership, aligning employee and company interests, and offering potential financial gains. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key steps involved in implementing an employee share purchase plan in Ireland, highlighting its advantages, and addressing common questions related to the share option scheme, stock purchase benefits, and tax considerations.


The Benefits of Employee Share Purchase Plans

Employee share purchase plans provide several advantages for both employees and employers. Let us take a closer look at the benefits they offer:

1. Ownership and Engagement:

Participating in an employee share purchase plan or ESPP, promotes a sense of ownership among employees as they become shareholders in the company. This ownership stake fosters a deeper commitment and loyalty, leading to increased employee engagement and dedication.


2. Alignment of Interests:

ESPPs align employee and company interests, ensuring that employees have a stake in the company’s success. This alignment drives a shared goal of working towards the company’s growth, profitability, and long-term success.


3. Financial Rewards:

ESPPs offer potential financial rewards for employees. By participating in the plan, employees can benefit from capital gains when they sell their shares and take advantage of discounted purchase prices.


4. Employee Retention and Attraction:

Employee share purchase plans play a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent. The opportunity to participate in the scheme and become a shareholder can be a compelling incentive for employees to stay with the organisation.


5. Stronger Workplace Culture:

ESPPs contribute to building a positive workplace culture. They foster teamwork, collaboration, and a shared commitment to the company’s success. Employees feel valued and recognised, leading to a more productive and motivated workforce.

Employee Share Purchase Plans


With these benefits in mind, let us dive into the five-step guide for implementing an Employee Share Purchase Plan in Ireland.


Step 1: Evaluate Company Readiness

Assess your company’s goals, financial situation, and legal considerations, including the tax implications of an ESPP, to determine if implementing the scheme is the right choice. Identify any potential obstacles or compliance requirements that need to be addressed.


Step 2: Plan Design

Carefully design the employee share purchase plan, considering factors such as the offering period, purchase price, participation limits, and any restrictions on selling the shares. Tailor the plan to meet the needs and objectives of both the company and the employees.


Step 3: Communicate and Educate

Effectively communicate the details to employees, ensuring they understand the benefits, rules, and procedures. Educate them on the potential advantages of participating in the plan, such as financial growth and a sense of ownership.


Step 4: Implementation and Administration

Put in place the necessary administrative processes to ensure a smooth implementation of the ESPP. This includes establishing clear enrolment procedures, setting up payroll deductions, managing share purchases, and complying with legal and regulatory requirements.


Step 5: Ongoing Evaluation and Engagement

Regularly evaluate the ESPP’s effectiveness and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and changing circumstances. Continuously engage with employees, providing updates on the plan’s performance and offering opportunities for feedback.


employee share purchase plan tax

By following these five steps, you can successfully implement an Employee Share Purchase Plan that not only benefits your employees but also contributes to the long-term success of your organisation. At Cronin and Co, we provide a wide range of business advisory services tailored to suit our client’s specific requirements. With our expertise, we can guide you through the process of designing and implementing an ESPP that aligns with your company’s goals and maximises the benefits for your employees.

For more information on ESPPs, visit

Take the first step towards empowering your employees and unlocking the potential of your organisation with an Employee Share Purchase Plan. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your business.


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