Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) fully supports the “Inquiry into wage theft in Queensland” that aims to shed light on the stolen wages of Australian workers including our pharmacy members.
Wage theft takes many forms including verbal contracts, employment as an employer, unpaid penalty rates, sick leave, annual leave and superannuation.
In many Australian corporations and businesses, wage theft is running rampant. More hardworking Australians are being short-changed through superannuation underpayments or in some cases, non-payments.
The Queensland Council of Unions reports that “as many as 2.76 million employees across Australia are underpaid $5.6 billion in super annually.” This alarming statistic highlights how many Australians have their hard-earned super stolen from them.
Why is unpaid super considered wage theft?
Were you offered a choice of super-fund? Does your employer have their own nominated fund? Did you provide your employer with a Tax-File Number?
If you answered NO to any of the above, that is wage theft.
According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), employers MUST pay super if they are paid $450 or more in a calendar month. This superannuation is paid on top of your wages.
The minimum your employers must pay is called the super guarantee and entails:
The biggest issue with our members is the question of Contractor vs. Employee. Consider the ATO examples below:
In both scenarios, the employee is entitled to super contributions if:
- Under a VERBAL or WRITTEN contract that is wholly or principally for their labour i.e. more than half the dollar value of the contract is for their labour
- For their personal labour and skills which may include physical labour, mental effort or artistic effort and not to achieve a result
- To perform the contract-work personally I.e. they must not delegate
You can check your status as a contractor or employee via our comprehensive independent contractor/employee test.
If you fall in either category of employee or contractor and DO NOT receive super contributions, PPA encourages you to make note of your hours and terms of your contract.
Our Workplace Advice and Support team assists our members with several issues including underpayments. They are in the process of chasing $160,000 in underpayments for a PPA member and we encourage all our members to use this service to compel their employers to pay your unpaid super.
To better understand how the team can help you, watch the video below.
You can contact our Workplace Advise and Support team via email at email@example.com.