Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has written to a Senate Inquiry into superannuation non-payment, urging greater transparency in payslips and an end to secrecy in deals between employers and the ATO on unpaid super.
Ms Claydon raised the concerns after being contacted by a constituent who had been trying to reclaim unpaid superannuation stretching back to 2013.
“Close to a third of Newcastle workers are unpaid, or underpaid, their rightful superannuation entitlements – but these underpayments can be difficult for workers to identify and hard to recoup,” Ms Claydon said.
“The enormous problem of superannuation underpayment is exacerbated by the fact that it isn’t illegal for employers to include superannuation amounts on payslips that haven’t actually been paid.
“I have constituent who didn’t find out for more than a year that he hadn’t been receiving his superannuation. This came as a complete surprise to him because super amounts were clearly written on his payslips. When he queried his employer, he was told the superannuation amount printed on his payslip was only for ‘calculation’ purposes.
“It seems self-evident to me that workers should be able to determine from their payslips exactly how much superannuation they are owed and be confident that this amount has, in fact, have been paid in each pay period.”
Ms Claydon said she was also concerned about the practice of the Australian Taxation Office doing opaque deals with employers regarding the repayment of unpaid super.
“When my constituent contacted the ATO to find out when – or if – the unpaid super would be repaid, he was told this information was part of a ‘confidential’ agreement between the tax office and his employer and he wasn’t entitled to know the details,” Ms Claydon said.
“Surely workers should have every right to know the details of deals that have been done on their behalf regarding their money.”
Ms Claydon said she had written to both the Minister and the Senate Economics Committee asking them to consider reforms that would address the issues of deceptive payslips, and opaque deals between the ATO and employers regarding money owed to workers.
“I look forward to the release of the Senate Committee report on May 2 and hope it addresses the concerns I have.”