Long service leave changes from 1 November 2018

The Victorian Long Service Leave Act 2018 (LSL Act 2018) comes into operation on 1 November 2018. The key changes as noted in an earlier post are:

  • Employee access to long service leave after 7 years of eligible service (down from 10 years). Note: The existing entitlement to payment in lieu on termination of employment after 7 years’ eligible service remains.
  • Unpaid parental leave will count as service (whereas currently it does not count but doesn’t break service).
  • If an employee resigns and is reemployed within 12 weeks, service will be deemed to be continuous (currently that only happens if the employee is dismissed and reengaged within 12 weeks).
  • Long service leave service will transfer from one employer to another where there is a transfer of tangible and/or intangible assets and the employee performs duties in connection with those assets (currently only tangible assets matter).
  • The method of calculating entitlements where there have been changes in an employee’s working hours is changing.
  • Employees will be able to take long service leave for as little as one day’s absence.
  • The ability of an employer to apply for an exemption will be abolished.
  • Penalties for non-compliance will go from being civil penalties to being criminal penalties.

More detailed information including a number of fact sheets can be accessed at the Business Victoria Long Service Leave webpages.

This legislation applies to all Victorian employees excepting for construction workers who are covered by the portable Long Service Leave scheme, Coinvest or who have more beneficial long service leave arrangement in place under an award or an enterprise agreement.

Portable long service leave coming for contract cleaning, security and community services sectors 

The Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 has been passed by Parliament and will come into operation by 1 July 2019.

For the first time, workers in the contract cleaning, security and community services sectors will be able to access long service entitlements, even if their employer changes.

Businesses who employ workers who perform work covered by the scheme will be required to register and provide a quarterly report to a new Portable Long Service Benefits Authority. The scheme will be funded by a levy to be paid by employers. The rate of the levy will be set by the Authority’s Governing Board once it is appointed.

Workers in the security and contract cleaning industries will be entitled to leave based on 1/60th of their accrued service, after seven years continuous service. Workers in the community services sector will receive a payment instead of leave.

As this is a portable scheme, workers will be able to move from employer-to-employer without losing their accrued entitlement, provided they stay within the industry. As workers in this scheme are still entitled to accrue service for the purposes of the Long Service Leave Act, the Portability Act has arrangements to prevent double-dipping – that is, a worker cannot benefit from entitlements under two schemes for the same period worked.

Source: Business Victoria