KPMG recommends great changes | Financial standard
KPMG says SG contributions should be included in the Commonwealth’s paid parenting scheme, among three recommendations aimed at bridging the gender gap in the workforce.
His recently published article Towards a more equitable sharing of work says that since the 1970s, the increase in women’s participation in the labor market has been almost entirely attributable to part-time work.
The gap between the activity rates of men and women in Australia is 10%. This makes it on the 16the highest in OECD countries.
KPMG said the interplay of child care systems and tax and transfer systems creates a barrier to women’s re-entry into the workforce, and possibly financial gender inequality.
Its three recommendations are: to include SG contributions in the Commonwealth Paid Parental Plan and to allow unused concessional contributions to be paid to recipients of Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave without a time limit.
He also wants the Sex Discrimination Act to be amended to allow willing employers to pay higher retirement pensions for employees. Rice Warner, now owned by Deloitte, implemented it for his staff after obtaining an exemption from the Act.
Linda Elkins, KPMG’s national sector manager for asset and wealth management, said SG’s exclusion from paid parental leave exacerbates the gender gap as women often use the leave.
“While KPMG recently proposed a major overhaul of the PPL system, the issue of the Super Guarantee has yet to be resolved even if the current system is maintained. There will be a significant cost but it is a major obstacle to equality.” , KPMG said.
“Second, concessional contributions paid by employers to employees can be used for up to five years, but then run out, putting women who have taken the time to raise children at a disadvantage. There is no good political reason why this cannot be changed.
“Third, employers may wish to make higher contributions to attract and reward talented female employees who took time, but that would be against the law on gender discrimination. The law could be changed at no cost, but with a considerable advantage.