One of the most effective means of rewarding employees for their service to the Company is by allowing them to acquire shares in the Company through a share award plan.
It is important to note that in the case of employee share award plans, the Maltese Investment Services Act provides an exemption from the requirement of obtaining a licence for investment services in relation to “a person operating a scheme or arrangement where the services provided consist of the execution of orders or the reception and transmission of orders for its own employees, former employees, their dependents, or for employees, former employees or their dependants of companies in the same group, in instruments issued by the company or other companies in the group and any other instruments as may be approved by the competent authority.”
This exemption is not automatically operative but is subject to the determination in writing by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as the competent authority in Malta.
GTG has assisted a number of multi-national companies in preparing their share award plan for their employees based in Malta. GTG can thus provide legal advice to companies on the share award plan to be implemented and whether it qualifies for the exemption from an investment services licence as provided under Maltese law. GTG is also able to provide further assistance on observing data protection laws and ensuring compliance with the Maltese Companies Act and the Maltese Employment and Industrial Relations Act.