Employee Share Ownership in Unlisted Entities: Objectives, Current Practices and Regulatory Reform  - CLEO Skip to main content


The Employee Share Ownership Project is a joint initiative of the Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation, the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law and The Tax Group. It is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant.

The project subjects the existing regulatory regime for employee share ownership plans in Australia – in tax, corporate and labour law – to technical and empirical scrutiny. It analyses how current legal regulation structures and constrains the use of ESOPs in Australian enterprises. It examines the current incidence and forms of ESOPs in Australia, the diversity of objectives that such schemes serve, the extent to which current corporate, tax and labour law inhibit ESOPs, and the case for reform of the regulatory framework.

This report considers the objectives and current practice in this area and notes that employee ownership levels tend to be lower for unlisted entities than for listed entities. It also examines the regulatory obstacles to such ownership and makes recommendations for reform to facilitate employee ownership in this area.