Victorian businesses: Do you need to register with the Portable Long Service Leave Authority?
In September 2018, the Victorian government passed the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 (‘the Act’) which introduced the entitlement to ‘portable long service leave’ in industries such as community services, contract cleaning and security from the 1st July 2019. Businesses in the industry were given until the 30th September 2019 to register as an employer with the Portable Long Service Authority. As the deadline approaches, businesses need to make sure they are prepared and ready for the changes.
What are the changes to Long Service Leave Law in Victoria?
The Act primarily affects employees and employers that operate in the community services, contract cleaning and security industries. Historically workers in these industries have rarely qualified for long service leave given the high rate of contract and project work, hence the introduction of portable long service leave to make it easier for workers in the industry to access these entitlements.
The changes enable employees to accumulate long service leave based on their length of service within the industry and not their length of service with one employer. If an employee moves from one employer to another but remains in the industry, their long service leave entitlements will transition with them.
The scheme is funded by employers paying a levy to the Long Service Leave Authority based on their employees’ earnings.
How will the Portable Long Service Leave Scheme operate?
The scheme will not replace existing laws or long service schemes but will operate alongside these. Employees will still be entitled to accumulate and take long service under the Long Service Leave Act 2018 or other industrial instruments, and employers will need to ensure they have sufficient funds to meet these obligations as they will be separate to the scheme. However, employers may in certain circumstances be eligible to claim a reimbursement of the levies paid to the Authority if they pay an employee long service leave entitlements under the Long Service Leave Act 2018 or other instruments or schemes.
What do I need to do to prepare for the changes?
Businesses operating in the industries affected must be registered with the Portable Long Service Authority by the 30th September 2019. Any new businesses must be registered within 3 months of establishment.
Employers will be required to submit quarterly reports to the Authority detailing their employees hours of work, pay and leave entitlements, with the first report due in October 2019. The purpose of the reports is to assist in calculating the contribution the employer will need to make to the Authority which is based on the employee’s ordinary pay multiplied by the relevant levy for the industry.
How can we help?
If you are a business that operates in one of the affected industries and you are unsure whether you are required to be registered with the Portable Long Service Authority, or what impact this may have on your obligations in regards to long service leave, our team of dedicated Workplace Advisors are readily available to assist in answering your questions.
You may also find our previous article helpful; What you need to know about changes to Long Service Leave in Victoria.