Seven: the Corporations Act, corporate governance and termination payments to senior employees

Employment Local government Australia

This paper presents an empirical analysis of the termination payments contemplated by the service contracts of the managing directors of ASX50 companies. It uses real remuneration data from those companies’ 2005 annual reports to test the operation of the relevant provisions in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). It also compares the scheme of the Act with key corporate governance guidelines from the ASX and the Australian Council of Super Investors, Inc. The paper shows, among other things, that the Act would allow companies to make far higher termination payments without shareholder approval than is their present practice. It also highlights the importance of share-based payments as an element of executive remuneration generally, and in the context of termination in particular.

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