A recent court ruling shines the spotlight on superannuation entitlements for contractors and the need for employment relationships to be considered carefully for superannuation guarantee purposes.
Sessional lecturer entitled to superannuation support: Court ruling
The Federal Court has agreed with the ATO that a lecturer providing services to a higher education provider was a common law employee and therefore entitled to superannuation support, despite being engaged as an independent contractor.
The ATO reviewed the situation and concluded that the lecturer was entitled to receive superannuation support. This was on the basis that for superannuation guarantee purposes they were either an ‘employee’ within the ordinary meaning of that term, or was what is referred to as an ‘extended definition employee’ as someone engaged primarily for the provision of their labour services.
Some of the factors which indicated the lecturer was in an employment relationship with the higher education provider included:
- that the lecturer was engaged in his personal capacity and not through an interposed entity (such as a company or trust)
- that the higher education provider had a right of control over the lecturer, including the question of how, when and where he was required to provide the relevant teaching services; and
- the mode or manner by which the lecturer was to be remunerated was clearly expressed by reference to the time that the lecturer was engaged in delivering lectures and marking, not by reference to any readily identifiable or quantifiable product or result.
If you have any questions about superannuation guarantee entitlements, or would like to discuss scenarios where a ‘contractor’ is engaged personally, remunerated on an hourly basis for hours worked and is not provided with superannuation support, please contact our team on 03 9708 8801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Please Note: Many of the comments in this publication are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information’s applicability to their particular circumstances.
The information contained within this document is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Robinson Voss Partners (RV Partners) strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances.