Industry Super Australia has commended parliament for passing legislation introducing potential jail time for bosses who fail to pay workers’ superannuation, although the body has said that the government has not taken enough action.
The new laws, if passed by the Senate, should boost the capacity of the Australian Taxation Office to identify and prosecute employers who are not paying their employees’ super.
The Tax Office would be able to apply for court-ordered penalties, including up to 12 months’ imprisonment.
An ISA analysis of ATO data demonstrated a third of workers miss out on nearly $2,000 a year in super entitlements.
ISA chief executive, Bernie Dean, said the new monitoring and compliance laws were welcome, but more is required fix the problem at its source.
Mr Dean added that his organisation is currently campaigning for parliamentarians to adopt a key recommendation from the 2017 Senate Inquiry into unpaid super, involving the alignment of the timing of superannuation payments with regular cycles.
Currently, employers are required to pay super into a worker’s account on a quarterly basis, with Mr Dean saying that what’s on a pay slip may not reflect actual payment.
“We see this legislation as the beginning and not the end of parliament’s efforts to deal with unpaid super,” he said.
“That the onus is on workers themselves to check they’re being paid a fundamental entitlement is quite unreasonable.”
“Aligning superannuation payments with wage payments would enhance transparency and streamline compliance. It’s a win for everyone.”
ISA is also calling for a time limit on the ATO’s transfers of balances it has taken from inactive accounts.
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