New Long Service Leave Laws Now Apply!

Long Service LeaveThe Long Service Leave Act 2018 came into effect on 1 November, providing clearer, fairer and more flexible long service leave entitlements for all Victorian workers. So if you thought that 3-month overseas adventure you’ve been dreaming about was still years away, you might want to rethink your savings plan!

Key changes to the Long Service Leave Act include:

  • greater flexibility for women, families and people transitioning to retirement
  • access to long service leave after seven years, not ten (calculate your long service leave entitlements here)
  • allowing employees to take long service leave in smaller increments (i.e. for any period of one day or more)
  • most absences from work do not break continuous employment
  • unpaid leave, including parental leave, counts towards long service leave
  • increased penalties for employers who do not keep records or do not produce them when requested.

On the flip side, new laws also mean new rights and responsibilities for employers. It is now a criminal offence to:

  • not keep records for the entire employment period, and for 7 years after employment ends
  • refuse to produce the records if required by an authorised officer
  • refuse a request by an employee to provide the employee with a copy of their long service leave record
  • produce a false record.

Did you Know…

  • Employers must grant all long service leave requests as soon as practicable unless there are ‘reasonable business grounds’ for refusing.
  • An employee can request to take a period of long service leave for twice as long as the period to which they are entitled, at half their ordinary pay (unfortunately though you can’t halve your leave and double your pay!)
  • An employer may direct an employee to take leave by giving at least 12 weeks written notice. The employee can dispute this.
  • Long service leave cannot be cashed out. The only time it’s paid out is at the end of employment.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, it pays to get your head around the new Long Service Leave Act. Make sure you check out all the FAQ’s, and feel free to email us or call us on 9887 8751 if you’d like some assistance working out how the new laws apply to you.