Unilever currently operate two main share schemes for their employees, details of which are shown below. It is worth remembering that there are risks associated with investing in shares. The value of your shareholding will go up and down over time and you may get back less than you put in, however the share schemes operated by Unilever do have some features to help reduce these risks.

ShareBuy

You can join the ShareBuy scheme at any time after you’ve been employed by Unilever for 6 months. Once you’ve joined you can pay between £10 and £150 each month to buy Unilever shares. You can vary the amount you pay each month if you like and you do this by notifying the HR service desk.

Once you have bought Unilever shares you essentially own a little bit of the Company, which means that you’ll get a share in any profits in the form of dividends and the value of your holding will go up and down depending on how Unilever’s shares perform, which in part is driven by how Unilever does as a company and also the wider economy.

Any Unilever shares you purchase via ShareBuy are bought from your gross pay (this is before you have paid any tax or national insurance contributions). This means that, for a basic rate taxpayer, it costs £34 of take home pay to buy £50 worth of Unilever shares. If you were to buy Unilever shares on the open market, £50 of shares would cost you £50 of take home pay.

As long as you remain a Unilever employee and hold these shares for 5 years you can cash them in without having to repay any of the tax relief. There are some exceptions to this however, if you retire, are made redundant or die before you have held the shares for 5 years then they automatically become payable without having to repay any of the tax relief.

Once you’re a member of ShareBuy you’ll be set up with an online Equiniti account which will keep track of the number of shares you hold, the value of these and which are eligible to be cashed in without a tax charge.

For more information on ShareBuy, ask Una in the first instance for an answer to your query. If your query cannot be answered using the Una Hub articles, you will be able to raise a case with your People Experience Lead.

You can also visit the dedicated website.

SHARES

SHARES was launched in November 2014 and is available for anyone who is work level 1. If you’re eligible you’ll receive an invitation to join either in the post or via email. You can join the SHARES scheme once a year in November with contributions commencing in the following January. It is an international Scheme and once you’ve joined you can pay between €25 to €200 each month to buy Unilever shares. This amount is converted into £GBP and then fixed for the year.

Once you have bought Unilever shares you essentially own a little bit of the Company, which means that you’ll get a share in any profits in the form of dividends and the value of your holding will go up and down depending on how Unilever’s shares perform, which in part is driven by how Unilever does as a company and also the wider economy.

Any Unilever shares you purchase via SHARES are bought from your net pay (this is after you have paid any tax or national insurance contributions). This means that it will cost you £50 of take home pay to buy £50 worth of Unilever shares. This is the same price as if you bought Unilever shares on the open market.

The attraction of buying Unilever shares via SHARES rather than on the open market is that you receive one free match share for every three shares you buy ie Buy 3 get 1 free! And as long as you hold these shares for three years you get to keep your match shares for free. This applies whether you are employed by Unilever or not.

For more information on the SHARES scheme, please refer to the SHARES website: https://shareinourfuture.com/ or ask Una. If your query cannot be answered by the Una Hub articles you will be able to raise a case with your People Experience Lead.