26 October 2016
Media Release - #2016097, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Revenue and Financial Services [19 July 2016 - 28 August 2018]

Consultation on making Employee Share Schemes more user-friendly

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, today released the ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda – Employee Share Schemes’ paper for consultation.

The consultation fulfils part of the Government's commitments under the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

The NISA measures will drive prosperity by putting innovation and science at the centre of the Government’s economic narrative. Innovation and entrepreneurship is central to economic growth, job creation and future prosperity.

As part of the NISA, the Government is taking steps to make it easier for employers to provide incentives to their employees through Employee Share Schemes (ESS).  In particular, the Government has committed to:

  • Limit the requirement for disclosure documents given to employees under an eligible ESS, and lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to be made available to the public; and
  • Consult on options to amend the disclosure requirements to make ESS more user-friendly.

The draft legislation amends the Corporations Act to fulfil the first of these commitments. The draft legislation has been published on the Treasury website and will be open for comment until 2 November 2016.

A consultation paper on options to make ESS more user friendly  is also available at the Treasury website. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the consultation paper by lodging a submission online. Submissions for this consultation will close on 7 December 2016.