Feeds

Startup-land finds a sympathetic ear in Canberra

Promised review of employee share schemes to conduct public consultations

Boost IT visibility and business value

Startup-land's liking for gifts of scrip as a way to keep wages and burn rate low has found sympathy within Australia's Treasury, which has opened a public consultation on the topic of employee share schemes.

Reform of the system was promised by Australia's previous government, as we reported last year, but the ball seems to have been dropped at some point. This new consultation seems to be framed around the notion the current rules are broken, opening with a statement that “The Government is committed to addressing the concerns that have been raised by startups in relation to Employee Share Schemes”.

Detailed here, the consultation will run for two weeks and feature real-world and online consultation, plus the chance to use this thoughtfully-provided cover letter on posted submissions.

Startup-land generally believes that employee share schemes are too hard to do in Australia, thanks to rules that cap the level of salary sacrifice. That in turn, it is argued, makes it hard for nascent businesses to attract the kind of folks willing to turn a startup into a smash hit, then cash in on their shares in order to end up with more currency in their pockets than would be the case if they worked for their market value elsewhere.

Exhibit A for that argument is Atlassian's recent departure from Australia, a move motivated in part by a desire to offer an enhanced employee share scheme.

Vulture South has no little admiration for those willing to put ambition ahead of beer money, but is also uncomfortable with those who believe Australia would be a more innovative nation if it offered the same business environment as Silicon Valley.

For what it is worth, Australia recently won third spot in the Heritage Foundation's 2014 Index of Economic Freedom (The USA was 12th and UK 14th), placing it among just six nations ranked as "free".

The Heritage Foundation also had this to say about starting a business in Australia:

"Australia’s highly competitive regulatory framework promotes business formation and operational efficiency. With no minimum capital standards, starting a company requires only one procedure. Flexible labor regulations enhance employment and productivity growth."

Yes, we know the Heritage Foundation is a very conservative organisation. But if even such an entity says Australia is among the six freest nations on earth, would better share schemes for employees really make a difference? ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.