29 May 2023
HESTA has called for compulsory employer Super Guarantee (SG) contributions to be part of minimum standards for gig workers, warning that missing out on super leaves these workers vulnerable to poverty later in life.
HESTA has called for legislative change to enshrine super rights for gig workers and beefed up ATO compliance oversight to ensure employers pay super in its submission to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations' 'Employee-like' Forms of Work’ consultation.
HESTA’s submission focuses on the critical issue of gig work in the care economy and its impact on superannuation and retirement outcomes. Gig employment through online platforms is an increasing feature in health and community services, particularly in the disability and aged care sectors.
Around 80 per cent of HESTA’s members are women who work in vocationally driven and often low-paid roles, typically in the health and community services sectors.
HESTA CEO Debby Blakey said these workers already faced significant hurdles in achieving financial security in retirement.
“Gig work in the care economy is a pressing issue, with a growing number of workers engaged through such arrangements,” Ms Blakey said.
“Given the critical services provided across the care economy, we think there needs to be a focus on ensuring we carefully consider the impacts of the growth in gig work across the economy, particularly in health and community services.”
Ms Blakey said the super system was founded on the vision of universality, and urgent attention was needed to ensure as employment conditions continued to evolve, gig workers did not fall through the gaps.
“Super is for everyone, and we need to ensure that all workers benefit fairly and equitably from our world-class retirement savings system,” Ms Blakey said.
“HESTA remains committed to advocating for the financial security of its members and will continue working towards achieving a fairer and more equitable superannuation framework for all Australians.”
HESTA's three recommendations address the challenges faced by gig workers in the care economy.
Recommendation 1: That the proposed legislation expressly includes the superannuation guarantee as a minimum standard available to workers in ‘employee-like’ arrangements.
Recommendation 2: That the Government pursue additional reforms to superannuation legislation to expressly provide gig workers an entitlement to payment of the superannuation guarantee.
Recommendation 3: That the ATO enhance its superannuation guarantee compliance activities for gig workers in ‘employee-like’ arrangements, including in the care economy.
HESTA is one of the largest superannuation funds dedicated to Australia’s health and community services sector. An industry fund that’s run only to benefit members, HESTA now has more than one million members (around 80% of whom are women) and manages close to $72 billion in assets invested around the world.