ASIC has released new class orders for employee incentive schemes (CO 14/1000 and CO 14/1001) and an updated version of the associated regulatory guide (RG 49). As anticipated and flagged by ASIC during its consultation process, the new class orders broaden the scope of the existing relief and help reduce the red tape faced by entities seeking to rely on the relief.

Set out below is a short summary of how the new class orders have expanded the scope of the relief and eased the administrative burden associated with relying on it. The relief is generally broader than that proposed during the consultation process – no doubt reflecting the sentiment of the responses ASIC received during consultation.

We are highly supportive of ASIC’s decision to broaden the scope of the relief. The changes will provide entities with flexibility to continue to develop and update the incentive schemes they offer to ensure that they provide appropriate incentives to attract and reward employees. The changes also successfully remove any ambiguity as to the types of financial products which will fall within the relief. We are, however, moving towards a more globally competitive regime for unlisted companies. The shackles have been lifted somewhat, but there is still a way to go.

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