The peak body for working people has welcomed the announcement that a Shorten Labor Government will pay super on every dollar women earn, including on paid parental leave, as a move to close the 47 percent gender superannuation gap.
The announcement by the Federal ALP will see the super guarantee paid on government-funded paid parental leave – a measure recommended by the ACTU’s Change the Rules for Working Women report last week and the ASU/Per Capita report Not So Super for Women last year.
The plan stands in stark contrast to the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government’s near-total inaction on the gender superannuation gap, which sees many women face retirement into poverty.
The ACTU called however for an immediate abolition, rather than the incremental phase-out, of the $450-a-month threshold for superannuation payments. Currently people who earn less than $450 a month don’t receive super on those earnings. This disproportionately affects women.
The fact that under the Labor Plan this won’t be fully phased in until 2024 means employers may cut the hours of people in already precarious circumstances to avoid paying superannuation for the next five years.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“Everyone working in Australia should have a dignified retirement.”
“Under our current rules, women face retiring into poverty.
“Today’s announcement is an important first step to closing the 47 percent superannuation gap for women.
“It’s vital that super be paid on parental leave, and we welcome the ALP’s announcement.
“However, to ensure working women don’t retire in poverty, the $450-per-month threshold needs to be abolished immediately. Every year this reform is phased in, means another year where women are not paid superannuation on every dollar they are working hard for.
“We will continue to campaign for additional measures that will close the super gap and delivery justice and equity for working women in Australia. “