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Long Service Leave Schemes

by | Feb 13, 2023 | News, Other stuff

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Long service leave is a mandatory entitlement for all employees (in most states) under the Fair Work Act and recognises an employee’s continuous service to an organisation or industry over a long period of time. There are however a few different schemes that apply to long service leave, we’ll run through them here.


State/Territory based legislation

Each state has their own legislation regarding long service leave. Under state based legislation an employee receives long service leave after working for a single employer or company for a certain amount of time. There are however significant ways in which the legislations and entitlements vary by state including the following ways;

  • How long an employee must work continuously with one employer to accrue long service leave
  • How much leave an employee is able to take after working with one employer for the minimum amount of time
  • How much leave is accrued
  • What employees are eligible for long service leave
  • How the leave is taken
  • What happens with the leave when an employee leaves the company

As an example to the above Victoria allows employees to access long service leave after 7 years whereas in Queensland you can’t access it until you reach 10 years with your employer. When you are an employee in South Australia you receive 13 weeks of long service leave after 10 years compared to 8.67 weeks in Western Australia over the same amount of time.

Portable long service leave

In some industries the Victorian Government has introduced Portable Long Service Leave Schemes by legislation in lieu of the standard long service leave provisions that apply. Portable Long Service Leave works by employers paying a quarterly levy based on how many days their employees worked in that quarter, as long as the employee stays in the industry then when they reach 7 years service they can apply for long service leave through the fund rather than the employer.

Portable Long Service Leave is mandatory in every state for the Building and Construction industry and it is also mandatory on a state by state basis for the Contract Cleaning, Security, and Community Services industries. Visit the following site to check whether you are required to enrol your employees in a Portable Long Service Leave Scheme –


Here are a couple of the things you may not be aware of regarding Long Service Leave:

  • In Victoria you are required to consider any allowances and benefits that make up an employees “ordinary pay” when paying out long service leave, this can include commissions and amounts relating to a vehicle use.
  • In general you are not allowed to pay out long service leave without the employee taking the period of leave, and if you allow them to do that you business may be prosecuted. There is one exception to this however. In Queensland you may “cash out”  long service leave under an industrial instrument or via application to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

If you need any assistance with anything mentioned please check you State Governments web page regarding Long Service Leave or if you need further assistance please give us a call on 1300 108 488.


Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488