Prior to Finance Act 2013, no employee could participate in an award of shares if he or she held, or had held within the preceding twelve months, a material interest in the company, and it was a close company (or a company related to a close company) (ITEPA 2003, Sch. 2, para. 19ff, discussed below). This requirement has been removed for the purpose of determining whether an individual is eligible to participate in a SIP from 17 July 2013 (including under SIP plans approved before that date).

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