If you are a contractor paid wholly or principally for your labour, you are considered an employee for super purposes and are entitled to employer superannuation payments, even if you’ve quoted an Australian Business Number.

A contract may be considered 'wholly or principally for labour' (i.e. more than 50%) if:

  • you're paid wholly or principally for your personal labour and skills
  • you must perform the contract work personally
  • you're paid for hours worked, rather than to achieve a result.

If the first two points apply but you are paid to achieve a result, it may be harder to determine whether you are eligible for super.

Characteristics that suggest you are eligible for SG contributions for the role include:

  • the employer has a right to determine the way your work is performed
  • the arrangement is for your personal services, that is you cannot engage another person to perform the work
  • the employer supplies the tools and equipment and the place of work
  • you are paid according to the amount of time you work, and your hours are fixed by the employer
  • you are entitled to annual leave, long service leave and sick leave
  • pay-as-you-go (PAYG) tax is withheld
  • the employer is responsible for workers compensation insurance.

The ATO’s online decision tool can help you determine whether you should be receiving super from your employer.

If you are currently under an arrangement where you should be receiving entitlements but aren’t, the ATO has a process to help you investigate and claim any unpaid superannuation.

Take your fund with you

If you're working as a contractor, there's a good chance you're receiving super contributions from a number of different employers. Unless you nominate your chosen super fund, your employer will usually choose one for you leaving you with multiple accounts, each subject to account-keeping fees and default insurance premiums.

Keep your super simple with just one fund. Tell your employer to pay future contributions to your Media Super account by completing our Standard Choice of Fund form and combine multiple accounts into a single low-fee, easy to manage Media Super account.