In Australia, employers are required to provide long serving employees that have been continuously employed with their organisation with an entitlement known as “Long Service Leave”. This entitlement is mandated by the National Employment Standards (NES) legislated by section 113 of the Fair Work Act 2009.
Although the National Employment Standards are part of Australian federal law, long service leave is actually governed by individual state and territory governments. Thus each of the laws in the states and territories differ in their long service leave requirements with some compelling organisations to offer long service leave at 7 years and some as long as 15 years. In most states and territories, long service leave can usually be taken after 10 years of continuous service with the same employer.
Here are some other facts about Long Service Leave in Australia:
- Long service leave is usually paid at the employee’s usual rate of ordinary pay and can’t be cashed out as this is in fact illegal and can attract a penalty and a criminal conviction may be recorded.
- Upon termination, there are some instances where an employee is not entitled to the full amount, and may in fact receive their long service leave on a pro-rata basis.
- As an employer, if your employment contracts, awards and other agreements – such as enterprise agreements and collective agreements – provide a provision that is less than what is legislated by the NES, the government can issue severe penalties, $10,200 for an individual and $51,000 for a corporation.
- Long service leave can apply to casual employees who have served a period of continuous employment as outlined by the relevant state or territory government.
For further information about Long Service Leave and other employee entitlements, visit the Fair Work website.
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