New unpaid super laws a good start but don’t go far enough

Industry Super Australia welcomes the passage of Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures No.4) Bill 2018 through the Senate but says the new laws don’t go far enough to help the one in three workers routinely short-changed their super entitlements.

Matt Linden, ISA Deputy Chief Executive acknowledged the progress, but said that the best way to stop unpaid super was to address outdated laws that only require employers to deposit money into super accounts four times a year, rather than at the same time as wages.
“Despite these new laws passing through the Senate that have potential to improve reporting of super, employers are still under no obligation to actually pay super contributions at the time they are disclosed on payslips.”
“While progress to stop the unpaid super epidemic is always welcome, anything less than stopping it at the source is just a band-aid approach.”
Recent research by ISA has found that the scourge of unpaid super in Australia is getting worse with 2.98 million Australians being short-changed $5.9 billion in super entitlements in 2015-16 – up by 220,000 employees and $300 million compared to two years earlier.
“Young people, those in insecure work and blue-collar workers are particularly vulnerable.”
“The vast majority of good employers that do the right thing by their workers are being undercut by a handful of rogue employers that are not following the law.”
The new laws, when ratified by the House of Representatives, will boost superannuation payment transparency by extending Single Touch Payroll to small businesses. Real-time reporting already applies to larger employers.
The recent research on unpaid super also found:
• 1 in 3 Australian workers are affected by unpaid super;
• Workers under the age of 30 are a third more likely to miss out on their legal entitlement compared to older workers;
• Over 45% of labourers, machinery operators and drivers have collectively missed out on more than $820 million making it to their super accounts;
• Part-time and casual workers earning less than $30,000 are a third more likely to miss out on super compared to full-time workers and those on higher salaries.
/Public Release.