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Long service leave

Information about an employee's right to long service leave.

Long service leave is often written into enterprise agreements or awards. If an employee's award or agreement does not include long service leave, they are covered for this leave by the Victorian Long Service Leave Act 1992. The Fair Work Act 2009 specifically excludes the regulation of long service leave.

The Business Victoria—Long Service Leave Victoria(opens in a new window) site has information about long service leave for employers and employees and a calculator tool to estimate how much leave has accrued.

Who is eligible?

An employee is defined under the Victorian Long Service Leave Act 2018 as any person who is employed to do any work for hire or reward. It includes casuals, seasonal employees, trainees and apprentices.

Years of service before long service leave is payable

Any time after an employee has completed 7 years of continuous employment with one employer, the employee is entitled to an amount of long service leave on ordinary pay equal to 1/60th of the employee's total period of continuous employment, less any period of long service leave taken during that period.

There is no entitlement to any long service leave payment unless an employee has been working for longer than 7 years with that employer, however an employer may agree to allow an employee to take long service leave in advance even if they have not been employed for 7 years.

If an employee leaves (or is dismissed from) their workplace after 7 years continuous service, they are entitled to be paid for the long service leave that has built up.

If long service leave is not paid, the employee can complain to:

  • the Fair Work Ombudsman (if governed by an enterprise agreement or award)
  • Business Victoria if their leave is protected under the state Act.

See:

Effect of other leave on long service leave

Long service leave continues to add up during absences from work due to:

  • annual or long service leave
  • illness or injury
  • adoption or parental leave
  • carers leave
  • approved absences
  • industrial action
  • a period of dismissal, if the employee was re-employed within 3 months.

Some periods of leave in excess of 52 weeks are not included when calculating the length of continuous employment. In most cases the first 12 months are included, but the excess is not.

See ss. 12, 13, 14—Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

National approach to long service leave is planned

The Commonwealth Government is trying to establish a uniform national long service leave standard. Discussions about this are continuing between state and commonwealth governments. Until an agreement is reached, employees will continue to be eligible for any long service leave entitlements that have been established under the relevant awards unless they have been expressly overridden by an enterprise agreement that was entered into before the Fair Work Act 2009 commenced on 1 January 2010 until that enterprise agreement ends.

More information

Legislation

Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

  • Part 1-1 Div 2—interaction with state and territory laws
  • s. 26—excludes state or territory industrial laws
  • s. 27(2)(g)—state or territory laws that are not excluded—makes it clear that the Victorian Long Service Act 1992 is not excluded by the operation of the Fair Work Act 2009

See Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)(opens in a new window).

Long Service Leave 2018 (Vic)

  • s. 5—who is not covered by the Act
  • s. 6—basic entitlement to long service leave
  • s. 9—what happens if employment ends before the employee has taken all their long service leave
  • s. 10—what happens if an employee dies before all leave is taken
  • s. 12—meaning of continuous employment
  • s. 13—periods of absence from work that are taken to be periods of employment when calculating the length of a period of continuous employment
  • s. 14—periods of absence not taken to be periods of employment

See Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Fair Work Ombudsman

The ombudsman site has information about the different kinds of available leave. The site has information and a fact sheet about entitlement to Long Service Leave.

See Fair Work Ombudsman—Leav(opens in a new window)e.

Business Victoria

This Victorian Government site set up to assist small businesses in Victoria has a calculator to help businesses plan for staff long service leave entitlements.

See Business Victoria—Long Service Leave Victoria(opens in a new window).

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