Employees are “short-changed” by proposed Government legislation cracking down on Superannuation Guarantee underpayment that doesn’t go far enough, says the Nick Xenophon Team.
NXT MP Rebekha Sharkie said: “While the Nick Xenophon Team welcomes the fact that the Government is finally paying attention to this issue after we introduced our own Private Member’s Bill last year to try and fix the problem, we feel the Government’s draft legislation fails to give employees any real power to fight for their own money.”
“Giving the Australian Tax Office (ATO) Commissioner the power to direct an employer to pay overdue super, and imposing stiff penalties for repeat offenders, is a positive step in the right direction but it doesn’t go far enough.”
“The feedback we’ve had to date from affected employees and the super industry is that the ATO process is ineffectual and the Office has had a poor track record in recovering unpaid Superannuation.”
“We would like to see workers given the right to pursue their unpaid super through the courts if they need to, or at least give the Fair Work Ombudsman the same powers to recover superannuation as they do unpaid wages.”
“Any legislation adopted by this Government needs to give employees more power to pursue unpaid superannuation contributions and get earlier warnings when employers fail to pay.”
The NXT Bill, the Fair Work Amendment (Recovering Unpaid Superannuation) Bill 2017, has not moved passed the second reading stage in the House of Representatives. If passed, it would include superannuation in the National Employment Standards, enable employees to more effectively track employer super contributions, remove the Salary Sacrifice SG ‘loophole’, remove the $450 monthly SG wage threshold and require the ATO to review employers’ compliance with SG obligations.
Sharkie said that almost one-third of all workers in her electorate of Mayo were underpaid superannuation in 2016, missing out on an average of $1748 each.