Am I entitled to participate in a share ownership and/or share-save scheme operated by my employer and under what terms?

There is no automatic entitlement to such a benefit. Any share ownership scheme should be clearly spelled out in your written contract of employment as an express term.

With all contractual benefits, your employer must not unlawfully discriminate against members of staff, for example by making decisions to give or withhold the benefit for a reason relating to one of the protected characteristics, such as sex, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion or age.

If the contractual benefit is available to full-time workers, it should also be extended to comparable part-time workers, unless the employer can justify treating part-time workers differently on objective grounds.

Schemes approved by HM Revenue and Customs give exemption from tax on the value of the shares at the time of acquisition, but realising the asset value of shares on termination of employment is a complex matter. You should get further advice from your local tax office and from the GOV.UK website.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.