Superannuation crackdown is a timely reminder to review practices.
Most tree contractors in business would be aware that the Superannuation Guarantee Scheme commencing in 1992, has required employers to make contributions for employees. Tragically, I recall writing that circular to TTIA Members back then, which makes me feel slightly old and unemployable.
On a more serious note, superannuation obligations can be genuinely confusing for employers as ATO rulings can change or be “updated”, as can the provisions relating to superannuation in industrial awards.
In recent developments, approximately $100 million in superannuation entitlements have been paid to Australian workers, after their employers failed to meet their payment obligations.
Employers are currently being granted an amnesty period for superannuation guarantee obligations – meaning they can confess to and rectify instances where they haven’t paid their staff superannuation, and they will mostly escape penalty.
To date, the tax office has recovered and paid $100 million in outstanding superannuation guarantee payments, it told a recent parliamentary hearing. There’s also been about a 15 per cent rise in employers admitting to falling short of the law.
Of the approximately 19,000 employers that have come forward, 73 per cent are micro businesses with less than $2 million turnover, and 21 per cent are medium businesses within $2 million to $250 million turnover, with not-for-profits accounting for 4 per cent.
The average number of employees affected is 36 employees, with 51 per cent of the payments in the order of $10,000, and 35 per cent in the order of $10,000 to $50,000, according to deputy commissioner at the ATO, James O’Halloran.
“There’s a $100 million or so that has gone to employees as a consequence of people coming forward, and that is including nominal interest,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“I am not distinguishing the drive or impression that people may or may not have had, because they are all treated the same,” he said.
“Regardless of how and why people came forward to the ATO to bring forward outstanding SG obligations, they were all treated the same, consistent with what we do in our normal course of business in accordance with our practice statements,” he said.
TTIA Members in any doubt about superannuation obligations, particularly in the areas of termination pay, payment in lieu of notice, annual leave loading, overtime, bonuses and periods on worker’s compensation, are invited to contact the Association.
Tree Contractors are reminded that TTIA has the staff and resources committed to helping tree contactors and protecting their interests nationally. TTIA is able to check wage rates, has workplace relations experts on call, provide employment documents and templates, provide access to our Legal Officer, training and access to a workplace audit and safety unit. Call us on (02) 9264 0011.
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