Health workers should be exempt from stapling: Jones

Shadow Treasurer Stephen Jones has requested an amendment to the Your Future, Your Super bill, excluding front-line health workers from stapling to avoid them lacking crucial insurance. 
Following the second reading of the Bill on 2 June, 2021, Jones submitted an amendment to Schedule 1 on stapling ahead of the third reading later in the year.  
He said the decision not to exclude these types of profession was a “fundamental flaw” as it could prevent them receiving the right insurance for their profession from their super fund. 
This amendment requested employees in the following categories were excluded from stapling: 
  • In an occupation that a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia has certified: 
  • (i) based on rates of death, or death and total and permanent disability; and 
  • (ii) using information from the most recent 5 years in relation to Australian occupations; 
  • Is in the riskiest quintile of Australian occupations; or 
  • As an emergency services worker; or 
  • As a frontline health worker. 
Frontline health workers included health professionals, people working in hospitals, surgeries, clinics, aged care facilities or other providers of health or disability services. 
Craig Kelly, MP for Hughes, added in his amendment that employees should be excluded if they were employed in an occupation where the rate of death in the workplace was more than one in 100,000 per year averaged over a five-year period. 
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Jones said this amendment had been instigated as they could be at risk of being stapled to a fund for the long term that provided inappropriate insurance coverage“If you staple somebody to a fund which has insurance designed for one occupation and they move to another, they would be stapled to a fund with inappropriate insurance coverage. A very, very typical example that can be cited is if your first job is in hospitality or retail, that is the fund you are stapled to for life,” he said. 
“If you subsequently get a job in the police force, as a frontline health workers, in the transport industry or the building industry, you will not have insurance coverage; in fact, you will probably be excluded from the life insurance coverage because of the exclusions that exist within the fund that you originally stapled to.” 

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Insurance is crucial for any Australian who needs it. The Your Future, Your Super legislation just further erodes benefits for so many people. What is needed is more education and a bit of personal responsibility?

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