Media Alert, 21 May 2014

by Employee Share Ownership on May 21, 2014

Federal MP Tony Smith will join employee ownership advocates at the Employee Ownership Conference and Awards Night this Thursday, 22 May at PwC Sydney. With the Abbott Government delaying anticipated reforms to employee share schemes in last week’s budget, the conference will focus on regulatory and taxation challenges affecting the take-up of employee share schemes.

“Deeper and denser employee share ownership would kick-start our stalled start-up sector. More generally it offers employees a stake in the outcome, which overseas experience has shown boosts productivity by unleashing human capital and breaking down industrial barriers,” said Tony Smith.

Angela Perry, Chair, Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand, said that whilst it was disappointing changes to regulations of employee share schemes had been omitted from the budget, the peak body anticipated regulatory changes in a mid review process.

“Treasurer Joe Hockey’s call for all Australians to do the heavy lifting is one that would be aided by a reversal of 2009 employee share scheme changes. Employee owned businesses get on with the heavy lifting whilst making minimal call on government, and they should be empowered by the regulatory environment to do so,” she said.

Tadgh MacCarthy, Director of Culture at Adapt by Design, a nominee in the 2014 Employee Ownership Awards, says ADAPT’s share ownership reflects their organisations’ philosophy:

“I want to work until I’m 70. Adapt is a multigenerational employee-owned start-up business – I see myself staying connected, taking on new roles and eventually becoming a mentor, building the next generation of leaders,” he said.

What: 2014 Annual Employee Ownership Conference and Awards Night, Thursday 22 May 2014

Who: Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand, the national organisation formed to promote the greater uptake of employee share ownership in Australian listed companies, startups and small and medium enterprises.

Theme: The conference will look at the changing landscape of employee ownership in Australia, with a focus on the regulatory and taxation environment, key productivity, innovation and employment outcomes, with emphasis on the Government’s policy agenda for the economy and employee share schemes in 2014.

Speakers: The keynote speaker will be the Hon Tony Smith MP, a vocal advocate for employee share schemes and Chair of the Government’s Economics and Finance Policy Committee.

Other speakers include:
Rick Patton, Senior Technical Adviser, Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
Angela Perry, Chair, Employee Ownership Australia and New Zealand (EOANZ)
Sue Benefield, Senior Manager Remuneration and Equity Plans, BHP Billiton
Yolande Foord, Executive Director of Remuneration and Benefits, Telstra
Karen Quinsey, Director, Private Clients, PwC

Media contact
For interviews with Angela Perry (Chair, EOANZ) or to attend the conference as media, please contact Suzanne Henderson, Sommerson Communications: 0407 104 268 | Sommerson1@optusnet.com.au

Recent media coverage on employee ownership
Start-up hopes fade for employee share scheme overhaul, Business Review Weekly, May 9
Tony Smith opinion piece, Employee share ownership crucial to innovation, Australian Financial Review, March 4
MPs eye employee share scheme, The Australian, March 3
Backbench MPs push for employee share scheme, BRW March 3

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