Portable Long Service Leave
By James Sanders, Associate, MST Lawyers
The Victorian Government has continued its review of employee Long Service Leave entitlements, with the passing of the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 (Act) which received royal assent on 18 September 2018. The Act joins the Long Service Leave Act 2018 as the second piece of long service leave legislation passed by the Victorian Government this year.
The Act, which will come into effect on 1 July 2019, subject to it being proclaimed earlier, will provide portable long service leave benefits to employees working in the contract cleaning, community service and security industries.
Under the Act, employees will accrue long service leave equal to 1/60th of their continuous service, which will be able to be taken after the employee reaches seven years of employment in their chosen industry.
After completing seven years of service in the industry, the employee can request their current employer to take long service leave. Upon receiving authorisation to take leave from their employer, the employee will then be required to apply to the Portable Long Service Leave Benefits Authority (Authority) for payment of their long service leave entitlement.
The employee’s long service leave will be funded by the employer contributing a levy every quarter to the Authority. While this exact percentage of this levy is yet to be set, the Act provides that it will be no more than 3% of the employee’s ordinary pay. The Authority will ultimately be responsible for administering the payment of the long service leave to employees.
While all States and Territories in Australia currently operate portable long service leave schemes for employees working in the construction industry, Victoria will join the A.C.T. as having the broadest portable long service leave entitlements, followed by N.S.W. and Queensland who provide portable long service leave to employees in both the construction and contract cleaning industry.