Portable Long Service Leave Update

Update 5 September 2018

Workers in community services, security and contract cleaning now have access to portable long service benefits for the first time!

The Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 has finally passed the Victorian Parliament.  This is a significant achievement, making Long Service Leave Benefits available to workers that had been denied the right due to unfair laws and regulations.

Under the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018, workers will be entitled to long service leave benefits after they have worked for seven years in their industry.  Regardless of the number of employers that they have worked for over that time period.

Workers in the contract cleaning, security and community services sectors often perform the same job for well over the seven years required to get long service leave – yet they did not receive it.  The Health Workers Union worked very hard to make sure that the security and community services sectors did not miss out on portable long service leave entitlements!

The new Portable Long Service Leave laws are in response to a Victorian Parliamentary Committee inquiry.  The HWU made a submission and were invited to attend the Public hearings. 
The Victorian Parliamentary Committee inquiry recommended a portable long service scheme and finally after many years of hard work, the scheme is expected to commence in the middle of 2019.                                                                     

The government is currently designing the regulations necessary to support the implementation and design of schemes for the Disability and Early Childhood sectors


Portable Long Service Leave Update

Members,

We have some excellent news to announce for people that work in some of the most insecure industries.

The Andrews Victorian Labor Government is giving community services, security and contract cleaning workers the Long Service Leave they deserve.

On Tuesday 27 March, Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins introduced the “Long Service Benefits Portability Bill 2018” legislation into Parliament.

Under the new laws, workers in the above-mentioned industries will be entitled to Long Service Leave after working for seven years in their industry, regardless of the number of employers that they work for over that time period.

With the portable long service leave bill being introduced into the lower house of state parliament we now wait for the next steps in the parliamentary process.

We call on the state Coalition, the Greens and upper house cross bench members to pass this Bill without delay.

Due to the way these sectors are structured, contract cleaning, security and community services workers often work for more than the seven years legally required to accumulate long service leave.  Unfortunate, under the previous PLSL laws, they don’t receive it!

The new PLSL scheme will be managed by a statutory authority, and employers will be responsible to pay a levy to finance the payment of entitlements.

The PLSL legislation caps the levy at a maximum of 3%. The actual amount of PLSL entitlement will be calculated by the independent statutory authority-an Independent body!

The Victorian Parliament’s inquiry into PLSL found that other Australian states had similar PLSL schemes in place with employers contributions ranging from 1.5 to 1.7 per cent.

The Victorian PLSL legislation was developed in response to a Parliamentary Committee that recommended a portable long service leave scheme for the above named sectors.  

The new scheme will be similar to the Victorian Co-Invest PLSL scheme that has been operating successful in Victorian for some time. Co-Invest has been looking after the Victorian construction industry workforce for the last 30 years!

The new Victorian PLSL scheme will help us catch up with other states such as Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory.  They already have PLSL schemes in place for workers in multiple industries.

The Health Workers Union played an integral role in the formation of the new Victorian Portable Long Service Leave Scheme.
1)    We made a initial submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Portable long service leave inquiry in 2015;
2)    We were subsequently invited to attend the PLSL Public hearings conducted by the Victorian Parliament;
3)    We worked closely with the Victorian Trades Hall Council (and other unions) to decide the specifics of the PLSL scheme;
4)    We then worked directly with a consultancy firm hired by the Victorian Government to study the feasibility of a PLSL scheme for Victorian workers;
5)    We then returned to Victorian Trades Hall Council and where multiple unions agreed on a position in relation to the PLSL schemes specifics.

For more information, please visit the Submissions section of the HWU website. In our submissions webpage you can find the following information:

Our original submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into a PLSL scheme for Victoria;
The Hansard transcript related to our attendance at the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into a PLSL scheme Public Hearings;
Our joint submission with the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC).

Please visit the submissions section of the HWU website for information about other submissions the HWU has made.