But last week’s federal budget saw to the end of funding to the Employee Share Ownership Development Unit run by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.
According to the Australian Employee Ownership Association (AEOA), the Unit has made some positive contributions to research and information about Employee Share Ownership Plans (ESOP’s) in Australia, but to dismantle it now appears to be “counterproductive in the need to retain the important intellectual capital built up in the department on employee share ownership.”
Would an ALP government to continue funding this or a similar unit?
According to the AEOA:
In the past twenty years, Government – both the ALP and the Coalition – have claimed they are philosophically committed to employee ownership. Neither side has so far been willing to allow employee ownership to flow to where the mass of workers are employed. It means that no matter how readily politicians nod in agreement when employee ownership comes up, it has little priority in their thoughts.
With record low unemployment and it’s subsequent skills shortage, ESOP’s are starting to be considered by even smaller and non publicly listed, businesses.
According to a Sharing The Wealth an article in Dynamic Business, ESOP’s are well worth the several months of complex planning, but in the end “could be your answer to acquiring and retaining key employees.”
And with the current workplace climate, it seems we need a government body like the Employee Share Ownership Development Unit to help improve employer/employee relationships in new ways which fall outside the government and opposition’s controversial IR policies.
Making ESOP’s easier to launch for small to medium sized business would be a good start.
Previously about ESOP’s on PWF: