The Coalition Government is proposing to increase the value limit of employee share scheme products that can be offered in a 12-month period from $5,000 to $10,000 per employee, according to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
In a statement, Frydenberg said the current regulatory framework around employee share schemes is too complex and fragmented, and ultimately discourages businesses – particularly, small businesses – from offering employee share schemes.
“The Government is simplifying the current regulatory framework, reducing the time and cost burden for businesses – an initiative that is particularly important for start-ups in early stages of growth,” he said.
The Government proposes to simplify and extend the current regime by:
- creating a dedicated exemption for disclosure, licensing, advertising and on-sale obligations under the Corporations Act;
- increasing the value limit of eligible financial products that can be offered in a 12-month period from $5,000 per employee to $10,000 per employee;
- expanding employee share schemes to include contribution plans, where an employee can make a monetary contribution to acquire eligible financial products; and
- allowing small businesses to offer employee share schemes without publicly disclosing commercially sensitive financial information unless they are otherwise obligated to do.
Frydenberg said these changes build on improvements the Coalition Government has already made to make employee share schemes more attractive, including improving the taxation treatment of employee share schemes and limiting the requirement for disclosure documents given to employees to be made available to the public.