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HMRC internal manual

Employee Tax Advantaged Share Scheme User Manual

Schedule 3 SAYE Option Scheme: Eligibility of individuals to participate: The employment requirement: Permitted eligibility provisions

Provided the scheme is open to all employees and directors who meet the conditions in paragraph 6(2)(a), (b), (c) and (d) (see ETASSUM32130), the scheme may also include other employees and directors, such as:

  • part-time directors,
  • employees and directors with less than the qualifying service requirement (maximum 5 years) specified in the rules, and
  • employees and directors without income chargeable as general earnings under section 15 of ITEPA.

Such inclusions can be made on a company-wide basis, or on an individual basis, at the company’s discretion. For example, the company may include only selected part-time directors. But in practice, if the company sets its qualifying period as three years, it will normally apply this service condition to all otherwise eligible employees.