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Changes to Long Service Leave

From Thursday 1st November 2018 there will be changes to the legislation covering Long Service Leave in Victoria that aims to make Long Service Leave more flexible and fair for families and women. The current Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic) will be repealed and replaced with The Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic) (Act).

The major changes in the Long Service Leave Act 2018 are:

  • that up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave will still count as service for the purposes of calculating Long Service Leave, where previously it didn’t.
  • no amount of parental leave will break the continuity of service. Prior to this legislation change, if an employee took more than 12 months of unpaid parental leave they would lose their long service leave accruals and have to start again.
  • all employees can now apply to take their Long Service Leave after 7 years of service instead of 10 years. If an employee makes a request to take long service leave, the employer must grant the leave as soon as practicable unless the employer has ‘reasonable business grounds’ for refusing the request. The new LSL Act defines what ‘reasonable business grounds’ means
  • that employees can take Long Service Leave in no less than one day periods if the employee and the employer agree to do so. This increases flexibility for both the employee and the employer.
  • there is a wider application of “continuity of employment” when a business is sold
  • increased powers of authorised officers and penalties for employers that don’t pay Long Service Leave (currently $9671.40)

Business Victoria has some great resources explaining the changes which you can view here.  https://youtu.be/FN4jcnduZ-U

What you need to do now:

  • Update any policies that detail Long Service Leave
  • Ensure your payroll team are aware of the changes
  • Audit your Long Service Leave records to ensure you are accruing Long Service Leave correctly

If you need help calculating Long Service Leave in your business, get in touch with us at HR Gurus where we can help you better understand your obligations.

Written by Jessy Warn – Senior HR Guru

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