Employee Ownership Reform could Significantly Boost our Economy

Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand Association (EOA) today launched a report that shows that a reversal of the 2009 changes will add a significant boost to the economy over the long term.

The potential impact is $1.4 billion positive impact on the economy over a 10 year period and $215 million year on year.

The report estimates that amount of money that was subject to income tax under employee share plans has halved since the 2009 changes.

Download and read Employee Share Schemes – Their Importance to the Economy | EOA Report, July 2014

Download and read Media Release.

2014 EOA Conference

The Annual Conference for 2014 was held on Thursday 22 May 2014 at PWC in Sydney. The program explored employee ownership in Australia through company stories in Australia and globally. The panel discussions had listed and SME companies, such as Telstra, CSL, BSL and BHP sharing their stories during the afternoon and this was followed by our Awards Ceremony.

2014 ESOP of the Year Awards

The Awards Night celebrated companies that exhibited employee ownership excellence in 2014. Nominations for 2015 open in January.
Meet the 2014 winners

EOA eNewsletter

Sign up to receive the EOA eNewsletter, free in your inbox. Missed previous issues? Browse the EOA eNewsletter Archive.

EOA Report – February 2014, The Solution for Start-Ups

Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand offers a plan solution for start-up companies

Download and read Our Response to the Treasury Consultation on Start-Ups |  EOA Report, February2014

EOA Report – April 2013, Information about the Current Trends in Employee Ownership

Employee share ownership weakened by government legislation, new report finds

Lower participation in employee share plans and a decrease in the use of option plans is hitting innovation in Australian business

Download and read The Changing ESS Landscape since 1 July 2009 |  EOA Report, April 2013

Download and read Media Release

Why Employee Ownership/ESOPs are so important?

The basic proposition is simplicity itself: people work better if they are working for themselves.

In the US where employee ownership is wide spread, one third of the Wall Street Winning Workplaces have Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOPs) in place.  This suggests employee ownership is a factor that impacts company performance, morale and employee engagement and participations.

What does this translate into?  Most importantly, from a company’s perspective it can bring increased customer and employee attraction rates, talent retention and employee motivation through pride[1].  But such recognition relies on more than quick fix perks[2]. ESOPs need to be tied to a company culture that operates through trust, open communication, performance recognition, opportunities for career progression, remuneration and cultural fit.  All of these could be assisted with the introduction of employee share ownership.

Imagine a business where employees were as motivated, passionate and hard-working as the owner or as interested in organisational value and success as stakeholders. In essence, this is what employee ownership programs can deliver.  Based on the premise that one ‘goes the extra mile’ when they’re doing something for themselves, well designed programs increase productivity, performance and investment.  Sales and employment growth show gains of more than 2.4% above predicted expectations, after an ESOP is introduced[3].

For the enterprising business owner who has toiled for years to grow their business and now dreams of retirement, ESOPs allow for a transitional scale back of day-to-day involvement.  For the employee, where acquisitions or mergers potentially fuel disgruntlement, job insecurity and a desire to ‘jump ship’, ESOPs offer opportunity, recognition and increased participation in core company initiatives.

C-Mac Industries, an Australian based company who recently underwent an employee takeover is a case in point.  With the death of their previous owner in 2008, there was uncertainty regarding future company direction.  A few fearful employees left, before the company implemented an employee buyout scheme.  This proved a successful alternative to selling the company to an external buyer[4].

Organisations globally recognise these benefits.  In the US, there are an estimated 25 million employees (out of some 120 million in the non-governmental workforce) participating in US ESOPs or employee stock purchase plans[5].  In the UK, around 21% of public companies have broad-based ESOPs or share ownership plans[6].  However, Australia seems to have undercapitalised on this opportunity with estimates of only about 6%6.

If you want to find out more about how employee ownership or an ESOP can help your organisation, call 0424 557 297, become a member or attend one of our training sessions.

The text above uses an article by Rosalyn Sadler of Mastertek as its core content which sums up our thinking into why ESOPs are so important.


[1] Winning Workplaces
[2] J-V. Douglas. (2011). ‘Get with the Program: How the IT Industry Blitzed the List.’
[3] The 2000 Rutgers Study
[4] S. Grlyak
[5] The National Centre for Employee Ownership
[6] Employee Ownership Around the Globe (2008) AEOA