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Christmas Greetings from Employee Ownership Australia

Christmas Greetings from Employee Ownership Australia

Dear Subscriber,

We wish all our members and subscribers a Happy Christmas. This is our final newsletter for the year and we wanted to give an overview of the year that has been 2015 and the year ahead.

The Year in Review

Start-ups - Our experts panel were involved in the consultation process that took place around start-ups, which in part resulted from some of their ideas set out in a report.  The report highlighted the key issues for start-up companies and the proposed solutions. It also suggested a plan design that could work across all companies and remove complexity.  This design was eventually implemented in the final legislation.

As a result of this work, in June, 2015, the Employee Shares Schemes (ESS) Legislation was passed through Federal Parliament, with 22 MPs speaking in favour of the motion. The debate on the ESS Bill 2015, the electronic version of the Act, and the background to the Bill – as well as some excellent research on employee share ownership in Australia produced by Parliament House staff to inform MPs – can  be seen on the Government page.

Our Inner Circle Company Group - In March, 2014 we set up our Inner Circle Group made up of companies committed to employee ownership. There are two Inner Circle groups, one targeted at
private and unlisted companies and one targeted at listed entities. These groups are now driven by their members with input from EOA. You can see their initial reaction of large listed companies to the Regulatory changes that happened this year.

Overseas Connections - EOA has continued to stay in contact with Graeme Nuttall in the UK and Loren Rodgers in the US. A close relationship has also been developed with the International Association for Financial Participation who participated in our 2015 Conference. 

Public Service Mutuals - We have also been working with BCCM (Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals) on their Public Sector Mutuals Taskforce. EOA made a submission in June, 2015 to the “Senate Enquiry into cooperatives, mutuals and member owned firms”. The report of this Enquiry will be delivered in in early 2016.

Our 4th Annual Conference

Employee Ownership Australia’s 2015 Annual Conference was held at the head office of Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne, on Thursday May 21st, 2015.

This year’s event was the organisation’s 4th annual conference and Employee Ownership Australia was attended by delegates representing more than 50 leading organisations.

The experts this year included Andrew Pendleton, who is Professor of Human Resources Management at Durham University Business School in the UK. The ASIC Commissioner John Price also presented.  You can find a full conference wrap up and names of the Award winners on our website.

Training in the New Year

Our first webinar training in the New Year will be on 28th January at 12.30pm.   Find out how companies are using the new tax changes to adapt their plans for the new tax legislation from three experts in the field.  It is free for members but everyone is welcome.

You can register online now. 

Eventbrite - Tax Changes Explained!


Europe: Assets held by European employees in shares of their company increased to 301 billion Euro in 2014, a new record.

European governments that are actively promoting employee share ownership are: the UK, Spain, Hungary, and in Austria, tax incentives will be doubled. The full report is online.

Spain: The new law on employee-owned and participative companies has significantly helped employee ownership. About half of Spanish listed companies have employee share plans. 

USA: A recent report around the contribution of ESOP to SCorps and participants retirement income shows SCorps had an 11.5% compound annual growth rate, 62% higher than the S&P 500 Total Returns Index's over the same period.

Also latest US Research on the Impact of Employee Ownership and Unemployment - The National Centre for Employee Ownership (NCEO) annually publishes research in this area and quantifies the savings to the US of government of employee ownership.  The 2015 General Social Survey (GSS) showed that in 2014, 9.5% of all working adults in the private sector not in employee ownership plans report having been laid off in the last year, compared to just 1.3% of those respondents who say they own stock in their company through some kind of company-sponsored employee ownership plan. This paper estimates the cost to the federal government per unemployed worker. Based on that estimate, the NCEO believes that the lower job losses among employee-owners saved the federal government approximately $17 billion in 2014.

Media Coverage

CultureAmp among the first to grasp new employee share scheme opportunity
30 Jul 2015 | BRW

Offering staff shares as incentives just got easier
09 June 2015 | Lawyers Weekly

Why Bill Withers decided to sell his company to his workers
13 Apr 2015 | BRW

Employee shares: how to decide if the coming regime makes them worth your while
25 Feb 2015 | BRW

The ’10 year old start-ups’ of biotech unfairly miss out on employee share scheme relief
29 Jan 2015 | BRW

Start-ups see room to hire in tax switch
16 Jan 2015 | The Sydney Morning Herald

Start-ups Call for Speedy Legislation
16 Jan 2015 | AFR