I have been working at an IT company for over 9 months now, pay has always been late (usually 1 - 2 weeks). Payroll is made every 2 weeks, but recently pay has been getting done much later than usual (1 month since last payroll). When ever the pay is a month late the company only pays us for 2 weeks worth of pay.

Yesterday I got a letter from my SUPER (I'm Australian so instead of 401(k) we have superannuation) say that they have suspended my insurance because they haven't received any contribution for the last 9 months (meaning that the company hasn't even made 1 contribution)

Every time I ask about payroll, the only response I get is, "we have to wait on our clients to pay us first then we can pay you"

Recently the company took on very big clients, and they told everyone that pay shouldn't be late anymore, but as usually pay is still late.

What should I do? I have a car loan & mortgage to pay off. My mortgage & car loan both have involuntary unemployment cover, but if I quit, does that count as voluntary unemployment?

I have been looking for a new job, but a question that comes up a lot is "why are you leaving your current position?" Do I straight up tell them that I'm not being paid? Also they are all asking for a reference from the current employer, but I don't want my employer to know that I'm looking for a new job (just in case he doesn't pay me for an even longer period).

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    Update your resume and get onto it.seek.com.au - talk to a lawyer - your employer has very likely broken laws with missing your salary and more so with not paying employer contributions to SUPER - DO NOT say anything to your employer until you have talked to a lawyer (or have a new job)
    – HorusKol
    May 12, 2016 at 23:49
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    I don't know how things work over there (working law and culture) but the day I wasn't paid I didn't work. Simple as that. People in the world work for money, the rest is the rest. What you should do? IMO Stop wasting your time in there, find a new job and sue those assholes.
    – user49901
    May 13, 2016 at 0:17
  • Let your employer know that you are looking for a new job because they aren't paying you. Yeah, that might move you to the end of the line, but it might move you to the front of the line, and you're probably pretty close to the end anyway (because you're still working) and the quicker you can get yourself out of this situation, the better. I let an employer string me along and wound up having to sue, spending thousands, and settling for almost nothing. May 13, 2016 at 0:50
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    I am very surprised to hear that the employers you are applying to are asking for a reference from your current employer, in my experience of the Australian working environment, that is extremely unusual and unprofessional. It is well understood that if someone is currently employed and applies for a position, their current employer surely does not know that they are looking to move on. May 13, 2016 at 1:26
  • For the issue in your last paragraph (looking for a new job without alerting your current employer), see this page, which links to some similar useful topics: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/49028/…
    – Brandin
    May 13, 2016 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


pay has always been late

Thats not a red flag, thats a tower of red flags within an ocean of red flags. Get out yesterday. You really want to be looking for a new job.

Yesterday i got a letter from my SUPER (I'm Australian so instead of 401(k) we have superannuation) say that they have suspended my insurance because they haven't received any contribution for the last 9 months (meaning that he hasn't even made 1 contribution)

If you needed any more red flags, there's more here. You need to get out of this.

why are you leaving your current position do i straight up tell them i'm not being paid?

No, say something noncomittal like "The employer wasn't a good fit for me and my career". Questions like these in Interviews serve one and only one purpose: To see whether or not you'll badmouth your current employer first chance. Which would be a red flag in the interview.

In conclusion: Get out now. When you want help collecting back pay and they make it difficult for you, contact your country's labor board or consult an employment lawyer. Don't try to salvage this. The company has sailed that ship off the coast long ago.

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    -1 for not mentioning the red flags.
    – Migz
    May 13, 2016 at 6:27
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    @Migz You not seeing my mention of red flags is in itself a red flag ...
    – Magisch
    May 13, 2016 at 6:28
  • In all seriousness, This answer sums it up for me. I've had a brother who did not get paid for nearly 3 years. He ended up living in a dump. In the end the employer left the country and my brother was left with all the debt. If it wasn't for my parents covering for him, he'd be on the street begging for change.
    – Migz
    May 13, 2016 at 6:30
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    Your advice is good but I strongly disagree with your last point. No interviewer will consider "My company was consistently failing to meet payroll and unable to pay my insurance contributions" to be a case of badmouthing. It's a simple statement of fact and an unstable financial situation is a universally acceptable reason to job search. Never resort to the meaningless "it wasn't a good fit" if you have a better reason.
    – Lilienthal
    May 13, 2016 at 9:44
  • @Lilienthal For this question the general advice seems to be to mention the positive: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/64966/… I know this situation is different because OP is not looking for "better" pay but to be paid on time, regularly, etc. But the approach should probably be similar to what is linked in those topics to avoid a wrong impression.
    – Brandin
    May 13, 2016 at 10:20

As an Australian, you need to talk to Fair Work Australia about you and your super not being paid.

From the Fair Work Australia website:

When an employee gets paid can depend on the industry they are in. Employees must be paid at least monthly.

I'm assuming that they're slipping in a couple of weeks of salary every month is to try to avoid this issue.

As far as your super goes, it's still Fair Work Australia. To quote:

What happens if superannuation hasn't been paid?

Employees who think superannuation hasn't been paid can make a complaint to the ATO.

Before doing this you should:

  • know the award or registered agreement covering your employment
  • check if these have extra terms about super (using the filter above)
  • check a pay slip to see if it has information about your super payments
  • contact your super fund to find out whether a payment has been made
  • talk to the employer if you have any concerns.

Paying employees superannuation is important. Information about what an employer must do if they haven't met their superannuation obligations can be found on the ATO website.

So if you really feel you aren't going to get your entitlements, you need to report them. Lots of information is on the linked site.

A warning though: I would strongly encourage you to find a new job. If you have to report them to get your entitlements then the environment will not be pleasant after that. And yes, if asked about why you left by a potential employer, it's reasonable to say that there were issues in being paid entitlements.

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    The good news about Super contributions in Australia is that if your employer fails to meet their obligations for mandatory contributions, the government will cover them (and then pursue the employer for the money). So you shouldn't be out of pocket on that front (although losing insurance coverage due to lack of payments is potentially more troubling). May 13, 2016 at 1:24
  • @Carson63000 Yep. The OP still needs to report their employer though, for both the unpaid wages and to start the process of getting their super paid (one way or another).
    – Jane S
    May 13, 2016 at 1:28
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    The superannuation part is sadly common from small businesses, in my experience. It's the first thing to stop getting paid when a company hits any kind of financial trouble, because no-one actively monitors their super accounts. May 13, 2016 at 5:46
  • From my observation, putting in a complaint with the ATO over unpaid super is the only action that will have any impact in this scenario. They are the only party with the resources, determination and legal muscle to settle this.
    – Mike Honey
    Aug 27, 2016 at 3:23

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