Under a stock option scheme, Air India has offered around 98 crore shares of the company to its permanent employees.
Air India Stock Option Scheme
Basically, these shares are also being offered to the permanent staff of Air India Express as part of the Employees’ Share Benefit (ESB) Scheme 2022, reportedly.
On January 27, 2022, the Tata group took over the control of Air India and Air India Express from the government.
A subsidiary of Tata Sons,Talace acquired Air India, Air India Express and the government’s 50 per cent stake in Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd.
This scheme is expected to benefit around 8,000 employees, as per an airline official.
An Air India spokesperson said, “in accordance with the share purchase agreement signed as part of the disinvestment process, Air India has initiated the Employee Share Benefit Scheme for eligible employees who were in service with the airline on the date of privatization. We will be working with the relevant employees to help them understand the long term benefits and avail of the same,”.
Who Is Eligible For This Scheme?
The permanent employees at the two carriers, Air India and Air India Express who were employed at the time of the takeover will be eligible to participate in the scheme.
These shares are being offered at a price of 27 paise apiece, according to the document sent to the staff.
This price is being offered at a discount compared to the book value of 87-90 paise per share at the time of acquisition.
In order to administer the ESB scheme, an employee trust has been set up.
The document said, “The company has authorized the trust to offer ESB benefits on no more than three per cent of the shares of the company purchased by Talace i.e., 97,99,56,600 to the eligible employees from time to time, in one or more tranches, acquired by the trust from Talace for nil monetary consideration. The trust shall hold the ESB shares to provide the ESB benefit to the eligible employees upon the payment of the aggregate exercise price together with all applicable taxes and amounts…,”.
Further adding, “.. any eligible employee retiring on or after January 27, 2022, will be deemed to be an eligible employee and will be entitled to the benefits in accordance with and subject to the terms of this scheme,”.
So far, the airline has around 1,600 employees, majority of whom are contractual staff, according to the sources.