Winds of change sweeping through the employee share scheme landscape

There is building momentum for the federal government to change laws that currently apply to employee share schemes to counter the problems arising from previous changes made in 2009 and, as a result, to increase the level of employee participation in employee share schemes in Australia.

Recent reports in mainstream media publications have stated that within weeks the federal government will revoke the controversial 2009 employee share schemes tax changes introduced by the labour Rudd government and may also look to introduce new reforms borrowed from the UK, particularly from ‘Sharesave’ schemes, which have operated there for a number of years. These changes will form part of the federal government’s broader National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, which will look to drive research and development and other innovation initiatives.

These reports follow on from the federal government’s recent review of the tax and administrative arrangements for start-up companies wishing to operate employee share schemes and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s current review of the relief it offers companies from the need to provide a prospectus or other disclosure document to their employees when offering shares or other equity to them…

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