UK companies saw a leap in the number of employees choosing to be paid in shares last year, as employees took advantage of rising markets. Businesses offering share incentive plans (SIPs), which include blue chip giants like BT and Aviva, saw the overall number of workers across the country using the plan rise six per cent from 908,905 to 960,988 year on year. The number of workers signing up to share saving plans, so-called save as you earn (SAYE) schemes, also increased by 150,000 people to 1.2m for the year ending 2012. The figures are published by the Institute of Financial Services. “Business leaders are looking at incentives which boost productivity and reduce staff turnover,” the head of employee share ownership John Collison said.