Superannuation for junior employees

**** Update to post – In the 2021 Federal Budget delivered on 11/05/2021, it was announced that the government intended to remove the $450 per month super guarantee eligibility threshold from the 01/07/2022.  If passed as law, this may affect superannuation guarantee paid to some junior employees currently earning below $450 per month or working less than 30 hours per week. ****

A common payroll error we see from clients with junior staff relates to calculating superannuation on wages. In particular the superannuation for junior employees under 18 years of age.

There is a common misconception that superannuation is not paid to employees under 18 years. This can be true in certain circumstances, for example when a junior employee works 30 hours or less in a week. Once a junior employee works more than 30 hours in a week, superannuation contributions are more than likely required.

There are also a few relatively unknown special rules that also apply to employees under 18 years. These are around deductions from pay, parent/guardian contact details for employee records and length of trial periods. If you have junior employees, we encourage you to read a guide for young workers on the Fair Work website.
Another common error also made is forgetting to start paying superannuation for junior employees employed before they turned 18, once they turn 18.

How does this affect my business?

If you have an apprentice or other junior staff please read the FairWork guide linked above. If you have made an error in not paying the correct amount of super that extends back further than the most recent quarter, superannuation guarantee charge forms will need to be lodged with the ATO.

Lodging superannuation guarantee forms with the ATO

Superannuation must reach the employees superfund by the due date otherwise it becomes non-deductible. The due date is 28th day of the month after each quarter end.

The is a requirement to complete superannuation guarantee charge forms if the payment does not reach the superfund by the due date. The form comes in pdf and spreadsheet versions which can be downloaded from the ATO website. The spreadsheet version is a lot more efficient to complete.