Although Long Service Leave was included as one of the
Government's 10 minimum employment standards, (that
come into effect 1 January 2010) how much you get and how long
you have to work for it still depends upon where you work and
who employs you.
The Rudd Government has declared that it is on its agenda to
remove these inconsistencies and move towards unifying the Long
Service Leave entitlements, but who will reduce their standards
and who will increase their standards to achieve this
consistency remains unanswered.
Long Service Leave entitlements vary widely between the
States. At the generous end of the scale is South Australia and
the Northern Territory at 13 weeks after 10 years of
There are differences also not only in the length of leave
but also qualifying period.
Workers in the ACT are able to take Long Service Leave after
as little as 7 years while NSW workers may be paid out Long
Service Leave after 5 years if they are retrenched or forced to
leave work due to sickness and in SA after 7 years.
The Australian Industry Group has been urging the States to
accept the Federal Award Standard of 13 weeks after 15 years
with the option to take some leave after 10 years.
In 2005 Victoria brought Long Service Leave more into line
with other States. Now, the country's three largest
employers, the states of Victoria, NSW and Queensland, broadly
have the same conditions. If you had to hazard a guess it would
be reasonable to consider this standard would form the basis
for a national compromise.
Whilst State Governments are reluctant to move from their
current standards, most agree that with wall to wall State
Labor Governments we are closer to achieving uniformity than
In the industrial relations sphere, along with Occupational
Health and Safety and Workers Compensation whether uniformity
will be achieved will be highly dependant on the negotiating
skills of Julia Gillard and her advisors. It is a matter of
watch this space.
The content of this article is intended to provide a
general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should
be sought about your specific circumstances.
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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