Determination of grant date
The determination of grant date is important because this is the date on which the fair value of equity instruments granted is measured. Usually, grant date is also the date on which recognition of the employee cost begins. However, this is not always the case (Service commencement date and grant date in Determination of the vesting period).
‘Grant date’ is the date at which the entity and the employee agree to a share-based payment arrangement, and requires that the entity and the employee have a shared understanding of the terms and conditions of the arrangement. (IFRS 2.A)
In order for the employer and the employee to ‘agree’ to a share-based payment transaction, there needs to be both an offer and an acceptance of that offer. (IFRS 2.IG2)
Approval and communication by the employer
If the agreement is subject to an approval process, then the grant date cannot be before the date on which that approval is obtained. If a grant is made subject to approval – e.g. by a board of directors – then the grant date is normally when that approval is obtained.
The arrangement also needs to be communicated to the employees to achieve grant date.
In a broad-based unilateral grant of a share-based payment, there is often a period of time between board approval and communication of the terms of the award to individual employees. In some entities, the terms and conditions of the awards are communicated to each employee by their direct supervisor. Because of the varying schedules of employees and employers, it is possible that different employees may be informed of their awards on different dates.