The ATO has recently warned employers that it considers that annual leave loading should normally be part of ordinary time earnings (‘OTE’) for superannuation guarantee (‘SG’) purposes, unless it is referrable to a “lost opportunity to work overtime”.
Therefore, if employers have self-assessed on the basis that their annual leave loading is not OTE, and there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate the purpose of the entitlement, there is a risk that they may have historical SG shortfalls and be liable for the SG charge.
However, the ATO acknowledges the uncertainty around this topic, and the evidentiary difficulties in identifying the purpose for annual leave loading entitlements, and will apply a concessional compliance approach where certain requirements are met.
Editor: If this is a concern for your business, please contact our office and we can help with your SG obligations and (if necessary) determine whether you will be eligible for the ATO’s concessional compliance approach.
Please Note: Many of the comments in this article 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.