The Australian Services Union today welcomed a step in the right direction by Federal Labor in responding to the unacceptable outcomes for women in superannuation, but said it only went part-way to solving the problem.
Labor’s announcement that it would pay super to people on parental leave if elected to Government is a long-overdue reform, advocated by the union movement for several years and will change lives. Reforms to make it easier for employers to contribute more to women’s super is also positive.
The fact that employers can avoid paying superannuation to those earning less than $450 in a given month is an injustice that clearly discriminates against women who dominate the casual and part-time workforce.
One in every two employed women works part-time compared to only one in every five men and women are 68.6% of all part time employees, according to official data.
The ASU supports the abolition of the threshold but want to see a faster phase in of the reform and will work with all sides of politics to achieve that.
A recent survey conducted through Galaxy Research (sample of 1068) found 76% of Australians thought that those earning under $450 per month from an employer should earn superannuation on their income. Only 16% disagree (8% said they don’t know).
These reforms follow a report by Per Capita, commissioned by the Australian Services Union – Not so Super for Women – which first raised the issue of women’s superannuation outcomes in July last year – available here. It found women have an average 53% of the super savings of men.
Quotes attributable to Linda White, Assistant National Secretary, Australian Services Union
“Since we raised the issue of women’s superannuation savings, the community support for reform has been overwhelming.”
“Labor’s commitment to change the superannuation rules is a big step towards addressing the wicked problem that women’s super savings are only half that of men, but there is more work to do.”
“Women in Australia have endured this unfair superannuation rule for far too long – the $450 threshold should be junked and a 5-year phase in period is just prolonging the unfairness for those who can least afford it.”
“Removing this obstacle to women’s superannuation savings has overwhelming community support and should not be delayed.”