The new legislation, which was assented to on 15 May 2018, will change the operation of Long Service Leave for Victorian employees.
From 1 November 2018 employees in Victoria will have earlier access to Long Service Leave and will be provided with greater flexibility in relation to how they may take Long Service Leave.
The significant changes you need to be aware of are:
- Entitlement – From 1 November 2018, Victorian employees will be entitled to access Long Service Leave after 7 years of service. Long Service Leave will accrue at the same rate of 1/60 of the period of an employee’s continuous employment, which is approximately 0.86667 weeks per annum.
- Flexibility in access – From 1 November 2018, Victorian employees will no longer be bound by existing inflexibilities. Where an employee has an entitlement to take Long Service Leave, they shall be entitled to take such leave for a period of not less than one day. The exception to this would only be where there are genuine business grounds to decline to approve a leave application.
Victoria leads the way in including Parental Leave as service for permanent employees for the purposes of Long Service Leave.
- From 1 November 2018, Victorian permanent employees will have a period of paid and/or unpaid Parental Leave (up to 52 weeks) counted as service for the purposes of the accrual of Long Service Leave. A period of Parental Leave in excess of 52 weeks will not be considered to be service for the accrual of Long Service Leave. However, such leave will not break the employee’s continuity of service. Where Parental Leave has commenced prior to 1 November 2018, only the balance of leave remaining of the initial 52 weeks shall be considered service.
- Casual or seasonal employees who are on a period of paid or unpaid Parental Leave of up to 104 weeks will not have such period counted as service for the purposes of Long Service Leave. However, such leave will not break their continuity of service.
It is important that employers are prepared to implement these changes from 1 November 2018. There are significant penalties of up to 60 penalty units (approximately $9,671.40 as at 1 July 2018) for each day until the employer complies. Therefore, it is important that employers have updated their payroll systems to accommodate the changes.
We will be able to assist you with any questions and provide advice about how to ensure you are compliant and avoid these significant penalties.
Please contact the Providence HR team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07 3218 3919.