Australia has a significant issue with underpayment or non-payment of superannuation. According to Industry Super Australia:
Scott Morrison and the Liberals have tried to give dodgy bosses who don’t pay super an amnesty on penalties – letting them get away with it scot-free.
Labor will change the law to include a right to superannuation within the National Employment Standards, which will give workers the power to pursue their unpaid superannuation.
Currently, unpaid or underpaid employer superannuation contributions are a debt owed to the ATO, rather than the worker. Unless there is a clause in their award or agreement, workers can’t chase this money as the money is not technically owed to them.
By placing superannuation within the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act, a Shorten Labor Government will empower workers to recoup unpaid super from employers through the Fair Work Commission or the Federal Court.
Labor will also strengthen the ATO compliance regime and increase penalties for employers for underpayment or non-payment of superannuation.
Employers who underpay superannuation to their staff because of a false or misleading statement will face fines equal to 100 per cent of the unpaid super. Employers who fail to tell the ATO about unpaid superannuation when asked will face fines equal to 300 per cent of the unpaid super.