It is the terms of an Equity Agreement, Shareholders’ Agreement or Stock Plan that determine employees’ rights with respect to shares. The common law relating to compensation for breaches of a contract of employment (i.e. reasonable notice) does not apply to shares where there is a distinct and separate agreement.
The appeal of stock option plans (SOP) is undeniable. Indeed, by linking employees' personal gains to the growth of the company's share value, a SOP offers a flexible form of compensation as well as a long-term incentive program.
Stock options are not really as complicated as one may think. In many cases, the challenge associated with the reporting of these benefits comes down to how the information is communicated to the payroll department.