Victoria’s portable long service leave scheme has reached a major milestone as it provides certainty for community workers, contract cleaners and security guards across the state.
The Andrews Labor Government introduced the scheme in 2019 to support workers in industries where movement between employers is common – and 3,000 businesses have now signed up as members.
The number of workers who have access to portable long service benefits has increased to 270,000 – some 177,000 working in community services, 66,000 in contract cleaning and 27,000 as security guards.
The scheme puts eligible workers who move between employers within their industry on equal footing with workers who stay with a single employer, providing long service entitlements after seven years regardless of how many contracts they have had in that time.
Employers including Deaf Children Australia recognise the benefits of portable long service in attracting staff and Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas met some of the organisation’s 39 workers covered by the scheme at its St Kilda Road headquarters today.
Deaf Children Australia has provided support for families with deaf or hard of hearing children since 1862. Helping more than 4,500 families and young people a year – almost half of them in Victoria – its workers provide vital services through programs include family camps, parent mentoring and learn to drive classes.
Deaf Children Australia has also launched Australia’s first nationally endorsed swimming program for deaf and hard of hearing children, with 600 accredited swimming teachers instructing Puggles Swim.
Employers play a vital role in the success of the Portable Long Service Leave Benefits Scheme, paying a levy ranging between 1.65-1.8 per cent of a workers’ wage to fund benefits.
Businesses employing workers in community services, contract cleaning or security must register with the Portable Long Service Authority – failure to do so means eligible workers are missing out on their entitlements.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas
“For many workers, long service leave was something that just wasn’t available to them because of the nature of their industries.”
“It’s fantastic that community workers, contract cleaners and security guards who move around in their work can qualify for benefits, just as a single-employer worker can. It’s a win for the workers and for fairness.”
Quote attributable to Deaf Children Australia CEO David Wilson
“Deaf Children Australia is proud to support the Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme because it rewards staff delivering critical services, offering them stability and encouragement – it’s critical to DCA attracting skilled staff.”
Reviewed 30 March 2023