More Portable Long Service Leave For Victorian Workers

The Andrews Labor Government is giving community services, security and contract cleaning workers the Long Service Leave they deserve.

Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins will introduce legislation today that will make long service leave available to workers who up until now have missed out through no fault of their own.

Under the new laws, workers will be entitled to Long Service Leave after working for seven years in their industry, irrespective of the number of employers they work for over that time.

Due to the nature of these industries, contract cleaning, security and community services workers often do the same job for well over the seven years legally required to accrue long service leave – yet they don’t receive it.

As an example, a security guard can do the same work, in the same place, for their whole working life, and yet never qualify for long service leave.

The scheme will be managed by a statutory authority, and employers will pay a levy to finance the payment of entitlements.

The legislation caps the levy at a maximum of 3 per cent with the actual amount to be calculated by the independent statutory authority. A recent inquiry by the Victorian Parliament found that employer levy’s in similar schemes in other parts of Australia varied between 1.5 and 1.7 per cent.

This legislation is in response to a Parliamentary Committee that recommended a portable long service leave scheme, and follows the successful operation of portable long service leave in the construction industry for the last 30 years.

New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory already have portability schemes in place for workers in selected industries.

Quote attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins

“Long service leave benefits should meet the needs of modern workplaces – that’s why we’re introducing new legislation to make it fairer for more Victorian workers.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing Martin Foley

“We’re making things fairer for eligible community sector workers who will be able to take a well-deserved break after years of work.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“These new laws will make sure some of our hardest working Victorians who look after our most vulnerable aren’t short changed if they leave their job in the community sector for another one. They should receive the Long Service Leave they are entitled to.”