NEW LEGISLATION ON LONG SERVICE LEAVE PASSED

21 July 2018

 

The Victorian Parliament has recently passed the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic), which will come into effect on November 1, 2018 (unless proclaimed earlier by the Victorian government).
The new Act makes a number of changes to the ways in which employees can accrue and take long service leave. The key changes that employers should be aware of are:

Taking long service leave

  • Employees will be entitled to take long service leave after seven years of continuous employment with an employer (instead of after 10 years)
  • Employees will be entitled to take single day periods of long service leave (instead of being required to take long service leave in one period)

Employers must not refuse an employee’s request to take long service leave unless it is on reasonable business grounds
Long service leave will continue to be paid based on an employee’s ‘ordinary time rate of pay’ and their ‘normal weekly hours’. However, if either of these are not fixed in an employee’s contract of employment (or in the latter case if their weekly hours have changed in the last two years), then they must be determined as follows:
The greater of the employee’s average weekly rate of pay over the last 12 months, five years or their entire period of employment
The greater of the employee’s average number of hours worked over the last 12 months, five years or their entire period of employment.

Accruing long service leave

The absences that will not break an employee’s “continuous” period of service have been expanded to include:
For permanent employees: any periods of paid or unpaid parental leave (no longer limited to twelve months)
For casual or seasonal employees: periods of paid or unpaid parental leave that are not longer than 104 weeks
Carer’s leave
Leave taken on account of illness or injury
Any other forms of leave that are provided for under relevant employment agreements
If the employee is re-employed within 12 weeks of their dismissal or resignation (instead of after dismissal only)
Any period of stand-down.
The absences that will count towards an employee’s period of continuous employment have been clarified and, in some cases, expanded, to include:
All periods of paid leave
If a period of unpaid leave is 52 weeks or less: the whole period
If a period of unpaid leave is more than 52 weeks: the first 52 weeks
If a period of unpaid leave is more than 52 weeks and it is taken to be a period of employment in accordance with the relevant employment agreement, or by written agreement, or it is taken on account of illness or injury: the whole period.
In relation to a transfer of business, new employers must recognise any long service leave entitlements accrued by employees in the previous employment.
If you have any questions regarding the changes please do not hesitate to contact us.

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