The Government seeks to expand access to employee share schemes and encourage further employee participation by reducing regulatory requirements.
The Government has confirmed that it will expand access to employee share schemes for unlisted companies by changing investment thresholds and further reducing red tape to help ensure that employees at all levels can participate in share ownership. The announcement provides that regulatory relief will be afforded to employers that make larger offers in connection with employee share schemes in unlisted companies, where participants invest up to:
- $30,000 per participant per year, accruable for unexercised options for up to 5 years, plus 70%
of dividends and cash bonuses; or
- any amount, if it would allow them to immediately take advantage of a planned sale or listing of the company to sell their purchased interests at a profit.
The Government will also remove regulatory requirements for offers to independent contractors where they do not have to pay for interests.
No date of effect is specified in the Budget papers.