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Victoria’s Long Service Leave Changes Explained.

Published October 30, 2018 (last updated June 24, 2020) -
Woman Looking For Long Service Leave Information On A Laptop

Long Service Leave Changes 2018

Victoria’s new Long Service Leave Act 2018 comes into effect on November 1, and employers need to be aware of significant changes to employee entitlements.

The updated legislation will impact the Long Service Leave entitlements of all Victorian employees who were previously covered by the Long Service Leave Act 1992. This applies to companies who may be based outside Victoria, but have staff employed in Victoria.

What you need to know

  • Employees will be able to request Long Service Leave after seven years of continuous service with an employer (previously it was 10 years)
  • An employer and an employee may agree to taking long service leave in advance prior to 7 years of continuous employment
  • Full-time, part-time, casual and seasonal employees are entitled to long service leave, provided they have completed the required amount of continuous service.
  • Continuous service covers employer authorised absences on paid and unpaid leave, including parental leave (up to 52 weeks) also counting toward the period of employment for accrual purposes. Parental leave taken beyond 52 weeks will not count as service but will not break continuity of employment.
  • Employees are allowed to take single day periods of long service leave, however no less than a full day can be requested at a time
  • Employers must not refuse an employee’s request to take long service leave unless it is on reasonable business grounds
  • Long service leave is calculated on the employee’s normal weekly hours at their “ordinary time rate of pay” on the day long service leave starts.
  • It is an offence under the Act to make a payment in lieu of long service leave, except where the payment is made on termination (as above) or in accordance with the relevant fair work instrument.
  • Employers must keep records relating to long service leave for at least seven years after the employment ceases.

What you need to do

The new Act is effective from 1 November, and breaches can carry severe civil penalties. Bodies corporate can also receive criminal records for contraventions. It’s important that you update your payroll systems to make sure that long service leave entitlements are being correctly calculated and administered. Also ensure that all your relevant policies and procedures are reviewed and updated to reflect these changes.

Need help implementing these changes?

For any advice on understanding and implementing these changes, Employsure clients can call us on 1300 651 415 to discuss, or email [email protected]

If you’re not a member of Employsure and you’d like to find out how we can help, book a free meeting with an Employsure representative here.

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