Australia operates as a capitalist society and as such, it is fantastic to see an employer make money. It is of utmost importance the employer does. I get a kick out of seeing an employer who goes and enjoys the fruits of their work and their business. After all, they took the risk; they put everything on the line to build a business to profit from and also provide opportunity and employment for others. By buying expensive toys, million-dollar houses or boats, they provide avenues for other employment in our economy and then the taxation that flows provides the welfare benefits for the less fortunate. But, when that employer is doing this and at the same time ripping off their employees, then that is nothing short of criminal and that employer deserves to be reported to the taxation office, the fair work commission and fully prosecuted.
Superannuation is NOT a bonus; it is a legal responsibility for the employer to pay on behalf of the employee
A common misconception in Australia is that employer contribution of superannuation for their employees is voluntary. The federal government hasn’t mandated that superannuation for employees be paid into the super fund at the same time as the payment of wages, subsequently, this would seem to be a payment that some less scrupulous employers like to drag out for as long as possible or even wholly negate to pay.
Some employers are out of step with their legal obligations when it comes to the payment of superannuation. The Tax Office has a formula for this exact reason
Just because a payslip outlines the amount of super that an employer is paying and the super company, DOES NOT IN ANY WAY mean that the employer has paid it, it has been suggested to Trucking Nation through correspondence that many transport companies are neglecting to pay their obligations. Could this be so? Surely not in our industry. One person relayed a case where an employer allegedly told the driver “I’m not paying for your retirement” which in of itself shows a complete lack of understanding of the nature of superannuation and that person needs to be out of business. Needless to say, that driver never went out that night.
For drivers who are on a cents per kilometre rate, this is also a problem whereby some employers are out of step with their legal obligations when it comes to the payment of superannuation. The Tax Office has a formula for this exact reason. The link – https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Super-for-employers/In-detail/Ordinary-time-earnings/Long-distance-drivers—OTE/ The formula sets out how super is to be calculated, taking into account overtime and other bonus payments that do not attract the super contribution. In the examples given they have used a cents per kilometre rate of 39.88cents whereas the basic award for a grade 6 B’Double driver is currently $0.461 per kilometre as of July 2019, but these are an EXAMPLE. These MINIMUM pay rates are easy to check by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman’s site at – https://calculate.fairwork.gov.au/CheckPay/Summary all you need to do put in the information as to your award, your employment status and it tells you the rest. For interstate drivers, the Federal award is the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 (MA000039).
Let’s make something clear; Superannuation is NOT a bonus; it is a legal responsibility for the employer to pay on behalf of the employee. The superannuation contribution is the employee’s money; it is part of their wages. Any employer who is NOT paying their employees superannuation is, in my opinion, a complete and utter thief. That employer is stealing money from their employees, and that is a thief from where I sit. Ask yourself, when was the last time you checked with your super fund to ensure your contributions are paid? When was the last time you checked what level of superannuation you were paid or is it just “easier” for your employer to, in some cases illegally, pay on the standard 38hr week? You may, in many cases, get a rude shock. Act now on this and don’t wait until you want to retire and find out that it hasn’t been paid. Or don’t wait until the employer goes broke and then you can’t get your entitlements. It’s all too late to shut the gate after the horse has bolted.
Expenses in the road transport sector have become outrageous, to say the least, and the impost on companies to become compliant has never been higher than now, but that is no excuse not to pay the entitlements of employees.
Perhaps the associations or major national companies should be asking the question of their members or contractors about stealing money from their employees with unpaid super. Some of these are contracting to major national companies with government contracts. Perhaps they could also request or make it a part of their audit requirements to check on stealing money through reducing or skimming entitlements for their employees both local and interstate. or, is this also too hard to fulfil social, moral and corporate responsibility. It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are some TOP Tier employers that are ensuring the future of their employees through ensuring the highest super contributions in the industry, well done for them. One of them you’d never guess. But ensure you check what formula they use when applying for employment and ensure you check your fund regularly. IT IS YOUR MONEY, IT IS YOUR FUTURE!