We have discussed previously – see: Furlough and EMI – the uncertainty regarding the impact of Furlough and EMI.
A draft Government clause in the Finance Bill, Clause 32 of the Finance Bill Furlough, seeks to remove the concerns by providing an exclusion from the working time requirement in circumstances where a person is “not required to work for reasons connected with corona virus disease”.
This exclusion is not limited to individuals on Furlough and is to be welcomed. However, there are two points of caution:
1. We understand that the ability of the UK Government to effect this relaxation is subject to the EU agreeing to provide a relaxation of State Aid rules and we have not seen any confirmation that this has been obtained.
2. The relief only applies to prevent disqualifying events, suggesting that it is only relevant
for options granted before the absence from work started and will not protect options granted during a period of absence.
If you have any questions on this or any other employee share scheme matter, please get in touch.