Australia

Super amnesty rewards dodgy bosses: Labor

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Labor says an amnesty set up to get employers to pay back superannuation is rewarding companies which robbed workers.

Businesses which "robbed workers" of their superannuation are being rewarded with an amnesty allowing them to pay it back, Labor says.

The Turnbull government brought in laws last week allowing employers to pay back superannuation with interest, but without the required late fees.

Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said if employers don't pay what they owe under the amnesty, they will be slammed with even higher penalties.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told parliament on Tuesday the scheme is designed "to recover more money for more workers".

But Labor used question time to claim the program rewards companies which haven't paid superannuation.

"It is now government policy to reward dodgy businesses who have robbed workers by failing to pay their superannuation for more than 25 years," shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said in parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Bowen said businesses are not only having the penalties waived, but the government's budget this month is also giving them tax deductions.

But Ms O'Dwyer said the amnesty was set up to ensure employers "make good every single dollar that they owe their workers".

"We're doing this because we actually care about the superannuation entitlements of every single worker," she said.

The Australian Tax Office estimates that in 2014/15, around $2.85 billion in guaranteed superannuation payments went unpaid.

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