Offering Shares to Overseas Employees: A Guide for Employers

Companies that employ workers overseas will contend with meeting the host country’s employment laws, and that includes the way that employees are compensated. 

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While some forms of compensation are fairly standard such as salary, bonuses, health benefits and allowances, other types may have unique rules that could prevent their use by foreign employers, or tax laws that reduce the advantages.

What is an Employee Share Program?

Employee share programs are one way that employers can increase compensation for their employees, without raising the salary.  There are two basic forms of share programs.  The first type of program is when a company offers an employee the chance to directly buy shares of its stock.  The second type is the outright grant of either equity or options as a form of compensation. 

1. Share Purchase Program

Programs that offer current stock purchases will often do so at a discount, and even provide some kind of funding loan to employees to make the purchases.  In that sense, it is more of an optional employee benefit than actual compensation (although the share price could increase in value over time, in addition to the original discount).

2. Equity/Option Grant

A company can also award equity shares or stock options in the current year as compensation.  But, the award of options that vest at a future date is a distinct form of that share program, that can have a higher compensation value for the employee (and more complications).  In some cases, they will have to remain in their role until the options ‘vest’ or become available for exercise to the more

Shield GEO makes international employment simple. Our customers use Shield GEO Employer of Record service to employ and payroll hundreds of workers in over fifty countries. Find out more.

Tim Burgess

Director, Shield GEO Services Ltd

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