A Labor government would move to increase penalties on employers who leave employee super unpaid, the party revealed in a pre-election move to win over employees.
Unveiling its National Platform document at its national conference — the last before the next federal election due by mid-May 2019 — the federal opposition unveiled plans to crack down on unpaid super by toughening penalties on employers.
“Too many workers do not receive the superannuation they are entitled to. Labor will seek to reduce unpaid superannuation in Australia. The fragmentation of work is placing pressure on the superannuation guarantee — in particular where employment relationships are displaced by contracting arrangements,” the report said.
“Labor will pursue reforms to ensure the superannuation system continues to fulfil its purpose, allowing all workers to accumulate superannuation on every dollar earned during their working years, and improving the standard of living in retirement for all Australians.”
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten reportedly told delegates that employers should face the same punishments for non-payment of super as for other breaches of workplace laws.
It comes after Industry Super Australia released figures suggesting that $5.9 billion unpaid super entitlements were owed to 2.98 million Australians — an increase of $300 million in just two years.
The industry body singled out Tasmania as a major hotspot for unpaid super, with chief executive Bernie Dean stating “every day that the problem goes unfixed, it costs local Tasmanian workers $279,452”.
Meanwhile, the rollout of Single Touch Payroll (STP) to employers with fewer than 20 staff is edging closer to its 1 July 2019 deadline, which one super fund leader warned will make it “stand out in real time if an employer isn’t paying their contributions to the fund on time”.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.