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The Australian Federal Government has released for consultation draft legislation that will implement previously announced reforms to regulatory and tax arrangements for employee share schemes (ESS). These reforms should make it easier for businesses to offer ESS and will support Australian businesses to attract and retain the talent they need to compete on the global stage.

ESS provide an opportunity for employees to share in the productivity and growth of businesses - aligning employee and shareholder interests. In light of the current skills shortage, where the need to attract, retain and incentivise employees is critical for business (especially for small business and start-ups), the Government’s focus on ESS is a positive move.