Currently, there is even more incentive for employees to claim superannuation from employers following the decision of the Fair Work Commission to lower public holiday and Sunday penalty rates.
The reduction to penalty rates impact about 700,000 retail, fast-food, and hospitality workers with women affected extremely as more of them are employed in these industries.
But it isn’t just that they’ll be earning less on public holidays and Sundays.
Research commissioned by REST industry super, which covers the fast-food and retail sector workers, finds part-time and casual workers are missing out on the $147 million super entitlements every year.
And, with the increase in casual, part-time, as well as the "gig" economy, the figure is set to increase.
Lonergan Research, which did REST’s research, estimates that among the "contingent" employees, those with casual work agreements through apps, websites or employers, about 70% are female.
Of the part-time workers, about 80% are female.
Not many people know that employees over 18 years old are entitled to be paid 9.5% of their salary in compulsory superannuation if they earn over $450, before-tax, in one calendar month.
Employment status doesn’t matter; even though the employer labels you a "contractor."
More individuals are building their career that include a string of part-time and casual jobs, states Damian Hill, REST chief executive. It is a dramatic change in working arrangements, wherein more are earning equal to a full-time income but from numerous sources, and won’t be getting any superannuation as each job pays below $450 per month, he says.
It is also recognized that a few employers supervise the shifts of their employees to keep everyone below the $450 threshold every month.
These employees should know the thresholds so that it is harder for the employers to manipulate that game.
The $450 threshold was known that it was difficult for small employers to manage small amounts. However, that was back when numerous small employers supervised their payrolls manually. With pay system automation, it is no longer a red-tape problem for employers.
Hill states the $450 level must be revisited with a perception to it being lowered. And, with no superannuation, no insurance will be available. Super funds offer some "default" coverage, from which the member can choose.
There has been several bad press over junk insurance. However, the insurance from huge super funds is usually cheap, where a claim will be honoured; although, the premiums can feast on small account balances.
While the majority od of these employees are younger and with no dependents, they do not need death coverage, but a disability insurance, which is packed with the death cover, can be useful.
Hill states the contingent workforce is going to be here for a long time, and that the superannuation system must work for all, especially women, who comprise most of the contingent workforce.
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