Show download pdf controls
  • Work out if you have to pay super

    Generally, if you pay an employee $450 or more (before tax) in salary or wages in a calendar month, you must also pay super guarantee for them. Salary or wages includes any overtime.

    On this page

    Eligibility

    Generally, all employees are eligible for super. It doesn't matter if the employee is:

    • full-time, part-time or casual
    • receiving a super pension or annuity while working (this includes employees on transition to retirement)
    • a temporary resident, such as a backpacker
    • a company director
    • a family member working in your business.

    There are additional eligibility rules for some employees. These are explained below.

    You can use the eligibility tool to work out if you have to pay super for a worker.

    Super guarantee eligibility tool

    Employees aged under 18

    You must pay super for an employee aged under 18 years if:

    • they work for you more than 30 hours per week
    • you pay them $450 or more (before tax) in wages or salary in a calendar month.

    Domestic or private workers

    Domestic or private workers do work:

    • relating personally to you (not to a business of yours)
    • relating to your home, household affairs or family – such as a nanny, housekeeper or carer.

    You must pay super on payment for work of a domestic or private nature if:

    • they work for you more than 30 hours per week
    • you pay them $450 or more (before tax) in wages or salary in a calendar month.

    You may also have to pay super for domestic workers or carers if the following both apply:

    Contractors

    You must pay super for contractors if:

    • you pay them mainly for their labour
    • you pay them $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month.

    This is the case even if they quote an Australian business number (ABN).

    International workers

    Your worker is eligible for super even if they are a temporary resident, such as a backpacker or a working holiday maker.

    If you send an Australian employee to work temporarily in another country, you must continue to pay super contributions for them in Australia.

    For employees working overseas, you can apply for a certificate of coverage so you don't have to pay super in the other country as well.

    However, you do not have to pay super for:

    • non-resident employees who work outside Australia
    • some foreign executives who hold certain visas or entry permits (phone us on 13 10 20 for information)
    • employees temporarily working in Australia who are covered by a bilateral super agreement. You must keep a copy of the employee’s certificate of coverage to prove the exemption.

    If you’re a non-resident employer, you do not have to pay super for resident employees for work they do outside Australia.

    Self-employed

    If you're self-employed as a Sole trader or in a partnership, you do not have to pay super guarantee for yourself.

    Armed forces reservists

    You do not have to pay super for members of the army, naval or air force reserve for work carried out in that role.

    High income earners who opt out of super

    You do not have to pay super for high-income earners working for multiple employers who ask you not to pay super guarantee to them.

    You must have an SG employer shortfall exemption certificate for the employee. We will send you the certificate after the employee has applied to us to opt out.

    Last modified: 26 May 2021QC 33749