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ASIC extends employee share relief to casuals

THE Australian Securities and Investments Commission recently announced it would extend relief granted from the prospectus provisions of the Corporations Law for employee share issues.

Employers will now be allowed to offer the company’s employee share schemes to long-term casual employees without the need for a prospectus.

ASIC commissioner Jillian Segal said the policy change arose from its awareness of the changing nature of employment practices.

Employers are increasingly employing long-term casual employees. Share schemes may be part of the overall attraction of the employment package offered by major companies and are also used to reward employee performance.

The extension of ASIC’s policy is designed to ensure that regulatory requirements do not disadvantage longer term casual employees by unduly restricting their ability to access share schemes.

The new policy only extends relief where casual employees have been employed for more than a year “and whom the company regard as equivalent to their part-time employees”. This does not include contractors.

Ms Segal said the relief had previously been restricted to permanent staff (both full and part-time).

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