The number of companies with employee-sharing programs has hit a record high even though retail investors are waning in enthusiasm to trade stocks and shares.

There are now more than 16,000 registered share schemes in the UK, up nearly 1,000 by 2021 according to data from HMRC, as listed companies turn to tax-benefit schemes to incentivize employees as a bonus. alternatives to bonuses and raises.

These programs allow workers to receive shares in their employer’s equity and sell them at lower income taxes and capital gains.

Lynette Jacobs, Shared Plans & Incentives Partner at Pinsent Masons, said: “More and more businesses are realizing the significant benefits of tax-benefited sharing programs as a tool for employee engagement. effective tablets.

“Wage inflation and rising interest rates could lead to more companies implementing tax-beneficial employee-sharing plans as a form of pay – which would allow them to save cash by provide equity rather than raise wages.”

It remains to be seen whether the plans will be effective in retaining key employees, Jacobs added, as stock prices could fall amid continued economic uncertainty. The Nasdaq-100 index of top US technology companies is down 27% since the start of the year.

It comes as US investment app Robinhood laid off nearly a quarter of the company’s workforce after the value of its assets plummeted 31 per cent in the three months to June, due to close two million users quit trading on this app.

Robinhood boss Vlad Tenev wrote in a blog post: “We have seen further deterioration of the macro environment, with inflation at a 40-year high accompanied by a fall of the cryptocurrency market on a large scale.

“In this new environment, we are operating with more staff than is appropriate.”