IPA warns SG amnesty could be blocked by opposition
The Institute of Public Accountants has warned that the government’s proposed super guarantee amnesty could still be blocked by the opposition as public debate around wage theft heats up.
In a statement released on Tuesday, IPA chief executive Andrew Conway said while businesses and their accountants could use the reintroduction of the amnesty proposal as an opportune time to check in with their payroll processes, the Labor Party’s previous position on the amnesty would indicate its passage in Parliament was far from sure.
“The opposition previously did not support the amnesty on the basis that employers should not be rewarded for SG non-compliance,” Mr Conway said.
“We fully support the extended amnesty as it gives employers who wish to be compliant the opportunity to make good past underpayments, and we encourage all parliamentary parties to support the measure.”
A spokesperson for the IPA told SMSF Adviser the passage of the laws was contingent on the opposition “changing their tune”, given they had previously been “vocally against” the laws.
Mr Conway said the IPA did not support non-payment of worker entitlements but that the amnesty was a good way to ensure businesses who had done the wrong thing repaid employees their super contributions.
“We acknowledge that small businesses can sometimes experience cash-flow issues, making them vulnerable when it comes to meeting their SG obligations by the required due date,” he said.
“This amnesty gives them time to atone. At the end of the day, money is being directed into employees’ superannuation accounts with some interest added and that’s a good thing.”
He added that employers would rightly face higher penalties if they did not self-disclose non-payment of super during the amnesty period.
“We are now urging all parties to support the amnesty and make it happen for employers to make the most of the situation,” Mr Conway said.