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What is an Employee Share Plan?

What is an Employee Share Plan?

The workplace compensation landscape is witnessing a transformative shift towards practices that enrich both the employer and the employee. Central to this evolution is the burgeoning interest in Employee Share Plans, or alternatively named Employee Share Schemes. These forward-thinking arrangements empower employees with a vested interest in their company’s success, fostering an environment where everyone’s objectives and triumphs are interconnected.

What is an Employee Share Scheme?

In essence, an ESS grants staff the opportunity to own or acquire shares in their employer’s enterprise, sometimes at a discount or even for free. Acting as both a compensation strategy and an incentive mechanism, Employee Share Schemes spur employees to pour their heart and soul into a business they have a stake in. These schemes, especially tailored like the Employee Share Scheme Australia or the Employee Share Scheme Private Company Australia, are regulated by authoritative bodies such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), ensuring equity and legality.

What is the difference between ESS, ESP, ESOP and ESAP?

Employee Share Schemes and Employee Share Purchase Plans (ESP) are initiatives that enable staff to buy shares at a preferential rate, laying the foundation for a sense of ownership among employees. The Employee Share Option Scheme (ESOP) offers a route to ownership by allowing employees to purchase shares at a pre-agreed price before a specified deadline, under conditions that are generally seen as favourable. Under an Employee Share Award Plan (ESAP), staff are directly given shares or options as part of their remuneration, further tying their fortunes to the company’s success.

What are the benefits of an Employee Share Scheme?

The advantages of implementing an ESS are:
• Employee Motivation: Gaining a share in the company can significantly enhance employee motivation, with their financial prosperity directly linked to the company’s performance.
• Retention: Utilising stock-based incentives as a strategy for retaining elite talent is a smart move.
• Alignment of Interests: Ownership through shares ensures that the employees’ objectives align closely with those of the company and its shareholders, cultivating a culture of unity and responsibility.
• Tax Advantages: Certain configurations of Employee Share Plans can provide tax benefits for both the organisation and its employees, positioning them as a financially astute choice.

How do I start an Employee Share Scheme for my employees?

Designing an enticing and successful ESS demands deliberate planning and thought:
Employee Appeal: To make the scheme attractive, include enticing vesting periods, stock options, and additional incentives. Tailor the scheme to align with employee expectations for deeper engagement.
Clarity and Transparency: Articulate the scheme’s objectives and openly discuss its aims and expected benefits to promote a transparent atmosphere.
Tax Efficiency: Arrange the scheme to optimise tax benefits for all involved parties, ensuring employees are aware of these advantages.
Professional Advice: Expert support and guidance from a dedicated ESS team committed to the success of your employee share plans through interactive education sessions and communication drafting guidance.


“Our experience with Automic’s Employee Share Plan Administration service has been exceptional. Their expertise and dedicated technology have streamlined our share plan activities, significantly saving time and increasing transparency for our employees. Automic’s professionalism and support have fostered a more unified internal stakeholder experience.”
Ben Brooks, CFO, Livehire



Automic Group: The Employee Share Scheme Specialists
Employee Share Plans are a strategic tool for fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between employers and employees, enhancing motivation, retention, and aligning interests towards common goals. With Automic Group’s expert guidance and innovative solutions, companies can unlock the full potential of their teams, driving collective success and a more engaged, productive workplace culture.

For detailed insights and tailored solutions, contact Automic Group at or on +61 2 7250 6600. Discover how we can elevate your Employee Share Plan experience and contribute to your company’s success.