Serious worried senior couple calculating bills to pay or checking domestic finances stressed of debt, retired elderly old family reading documents concerned about loan bankruptcy money problems

What you need to know about the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty Bill

Stephen Booth ||

Back in May 2018, the Federal government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2018, which sought to allow employers a one-time only, 12 month amnesty with respect to past underpayments of employee superannuation.

This proposed amnesty would allow all current and past employers the ability to claim an amnesty through which they could pay all outstanding superannuation to employees, including interest.
The amnesty would both relieve the employer of any penalties for late payment which they might otherwise face, and allow the payments to be tax deductible (as opposed to payments of the Superannuation Guarantee Charge, which are not).

This legislation was initially proposed within the context of estimates that nearly $3bn dollars in superannuation entitlements go unpaid each year.  If legislated as proposed, the amnesty would run for 12 months from 24 May 2018, and relate to any underpayments having taken place in the period spanning 1 July 1992 through to 31 March 2018.

The ALP has strongly opposed the legislation on the basis that employers responsible for underpayments should not be given the opportunity to get away with such underpayments without facing a penalty.  The government’s argument is based on the suggestion that it is better to extract payments from defaulting employers for the benefit of the employees who have been underpaid, than it is to take a strict approach to enforcement, which might in turn deter employers from rectifying past defaults.  It remains to be seen whether the legislation will pass the Senate.

Unfortunately, in my experience, the payment of superannuation obligations can often lapse during periods where employers find themselves facing cash flow problems, and in certain situations, particularly individual contractors, misunderstandings surrounding the obligations of the principal are common.

It is important for readers to note that until the legislation relating to the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty does pass parliament (or rather, if it does), the full penalty regime will continue to apply.  With this in mind, employers or contracting principals who are aware of past defaults should tread carefully, and seek legal advice where necessary.

Coleman Greig will look to keep readers up to date with regard to the progress of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Superannuation Measures No. 1) Bill 2018.

If you have a query relating to any of the information in this article, or you would like to speak with a lawyer in Coleman Greig’s employment law team with regard to your superannuation liabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with:

Share:

Send an enquiry

Any personal information you provide is collected pursuant to our Privacy Policy.

Categories
Archives
Author

More posts

Understanding roles in the strata scheme

A strata scheme is a building or group of buildings that have been divided into lots which can be apartments, villas, offices, units or townhouses. This will be articulated in the strata plan.

Can i put my home on Airbnb?

Airbnb is a form of short-term rental accommodation. To add your property to Airbnb in NSW, you are required to meet several laws and regulations governing short-term rentals.

When are liquidators required to seek approval to retain legal counsel?

When does a liquidator (or the company he or she is appointed to) need court, creditor, or committee approval to validly retain a solicitor to act in a liquidation matter which is likely to extend for longer than three months?  The answer to this question has only recently been settled.

Proposed changes to building and construction law in NSW

The Building Bill 2022 (the Bill) is the key avenue through which the NSW Government has proposed to reshape the culture of the building and construction industry by eliminating poor performance and improving the quality of building statewide.

Can you dismiss an employee who fails to return to the office?

Slowly but surely, most employers are requiring employees to return to the office for at least a portion of their working week. Some employers continue to struggle with employees resistant to returning to the office or those who have an expectation that they can continue to work from home whenever it suits them.

New powers to combat phoenixing in construction

The rise of phoenixing in the building and construction industry in Australia in recent years has proved a significant challenge to regulators. Mismanagement of time or cashflow can quickly propel businesses into insolvency.

The NSW Building Commission’s extraordinary powers

In late 2023, the NSW Government passed the Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 (Amendment Bill). The Amendment Bill established the NSW Building Commission and granted it extraordinary powers to enter construction sites, inspect work and take away information and materials.

© 2024 Coleman Greig Lawyers   |  Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. ABN 73 125 176 230