Long Service Leave Entitlements

On 31 May 2005 the Long Service Leave (Amendment) Act 2005 was assented to by the Victorian parliament. The significant changes are that from 1 January 2006:
  • If an employee’s employment stops after 7 years of ‘continuous employment’ with the ‘one employer’ that employee is entitled to an amount of long service leave equivalent to 1/60 of the employee’s ‘continuous employment’.
  • The definition of ‘continuous employment’ has been changed to specifically provide that:
    • absence from work for adoption, maternity or paternity leave for a period of less than 12 months (or any longer period specified in a relevant employment agreement) will not affect the continuity of employment for long service leave entitlement purposes. An employee, however, will not be able to include such leave in his or her period of employment.
    • employment will be ‘continuous’ even where:
      • an employee does not work full time, or
      • has engaged in alternative employment in the relevant period,
      as long as:
      • there are no absences in excess of three months in duration, or
      • the length of an absence in excess of three months is due to the terms of engagement of the employee, or
      • where the absence is a result of the seasonal nature of the employment.
  • A new section 71A has been added which provides that an employee may request his or her employer to grant the employee an amount of long service leave twice as long as his or her entitlement at half the employee’s ‘ordinary pay’. An employer must grant such a request if it is reasonable to do so having regard to the needs of the employee and the needs of the employer’s business.

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For enquiries or more information regarding this article please contact Eileen Scott at McKean & Park Lawyers.

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