Australia’s companies narrow gender super gap

About 49% of employers in the database of Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) pay super on their parental leave scheme.
By: | February 10, 2022

In addition, 80% of these employers, which are companies that hire more than 100 staff, offer paid parental leave pay super as well.

About 7% of employers who pay parental leave also pick up the government’s slack and pay super to employers while they are on government-funded parental leave.

The federal government does not pay super on its parental leave scheme, something that has already cost working mothers A$1.6 billion (US$1.14 billion) from their retirement savings. There are now calls for the government to follow the lead of almost half of Australia’s businesses and pay super on its own scheme.

An overwhelming 99.5% of women take Commonwealth parental leave compared to just 0.5% of men doing that. While more businesses now pay parental leave, there are still millions of female workers who get only the government scheme.

Up to 1.45 million mothers have received Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay in the last 10 years when they took time out of paid work to raise children, sacrificing thousands of dollars in their retirement savings. In the 2019-20 financial year alone, 170,860 women missed out on A$216.7 million (US$15.5 million) in super payments.

READ: Unemployment in Australia falls to lowest point in 13 years

For a working mother of two, not paying super on government parental leave can cost up to A$14,000 (US$9,981) from her final nest egg and losing these retirement savings is contributing to the gender savings gap, according to Mirage.