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"Approved Plans" are those plans which are approved by HM Revenue & Customs and attract significant tax benefits both from the point of view of the employer and the employee.

There are also some tax advantaged arrangements that do not require advance approval from the HM Revenue & Customs. These are also included in this part of the website.

However, in order to benefit from these tax advantaged arrangements, companies must follow certain rules set out by HM Revenue & Customs. For example, the Share Incentive Plan and the Save As You Earn (SAYE) Plan must be made available to all employees in order to gain the tax benefits.

Some tax advantaged arrangements do allow for the selection of participants. In recognition of the fact that smaller, fast-growing companies need to attract the best staff, the Government has recently introduced the Enterprise Management Incentives arrangement, which is a discretionary arrangement aimed at companies with gross assets of less than £30m. In addition, the Company Share Option Plan is a discretionary plan, allowing companies to reward middle or upper management at a higher level than those employees likely to be included under the all employee plans.