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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12907

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 9 August 1999:

(1) Will the Government act to protect employee entitlements in the event of employer insolvency by requiring that compulsory occupational superannuation contributions be paid on a more frequent and regular basis.

(2) Does the Superannuation Guarantee Act provide that, unless required by an industrial award, the payments referred to in part (1) are only required to be made after the end of each financial year.

Mr Costello (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) On 22 July 1999, the Government announced that it would seek to amend the Corporations Law to better protect employee entitlements in the event of a company failure. The measures would introduce a new offence to stop directors from entering into agreements or transactions that avoided payment of employee entitlements, strengthen the existing prohibition against insolvent trading and allow for Court-ordered compensation where an employee has suffered loss or damage. In addition, in August 1999 the Government released a discussion paper outlining options for the protection of a range of other employee entitlements in the event of employer insolvency.

(2) Under the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act, the Superannuation Guarantee charge does not apply if the required contributions are made at any time during the year or by the 28th day following the end of the financial year.