When we blogged about the Chancellor's announcement in the mini-Budget 2022 that the CSOP restrictions would be relaxed, it wasn't immediately apparent how they would be relaxed.

UK mini-Budget 2022 (Growth Plan) - CSOP options - changes afoot, Nigel Watson (burges-salmon.com)

Well, HMRC have now published their most recent Employment Related Securities Bulletin 45 confirming that both the CSOP "employee-control" and the "open market shares" requirement will be removed completely with the intention of aligning the 'type of shares' requirements for CSOP more closely with those requirements that already exist for EMI.

This is great news as it very much makes CSOP much more viable (and therefore more attractive) for companies with messy shareholding structures or for those who simply wish to create a bespoke employee share class, similar to what you can do for EMI.

Legislation will be included in a future Finance Bill to make these changes. 

We will update you when we find out more.