Understanding long service leave in Victoria, Australia

In Victoria, long service leave is a vital employment entitlement designed to reward loyal employees for their years of service to a single employer. It is a well-deserved break from work that allows employees to recharge and rejuvenate after dedicating a significant portion of their working life to a company. In this Business Kitz blog, we will delve into the details of long service leave in Victoria, exploring its eligibility criteria, accrual rates, and the benefits it offers to both employees and employers.

What is long service leave?

Long service leave is a form of paid leave that is granted to employees who have worked for the same employer for an extended period of time. It is designed to reward employees for their loyalty and long-term commitment to a company. Long service leave is intended to provide employees with an extended break from work to rest, rejuvenate, and spend quality time with their loved ones. Long service leave is different from other types of leave, such as annual leave or sick leave, which are usually granted on an annual basis or based on specific circumstances.

Instead, long service leave is accrued gradually over time, with employees earning a certain amount of leave entitlement for each year of service completed. The purpose of long service leave is to recognise and appreciate the dedication and loyalty of employees who have contributed significantly to the success and growth of their employer’s business. It is a valuable benefit that helps to foster a positive and supportive work environment, encouraging employees to stay with a company for the long term.

When am I eligible for long service leave?

In Victoria, Australia, employees become eligible for long service leave after completing ten years of continuous service with the same employer. This entitlement also applies to part-time and casual employees based on the actual hours worked. If an employee leaves their job before completing ten years, they may be entitled to a pro-rata amount of long service leave. Additionally, some industries have portable long-service leave schemes that allow employees to transfer their entitlements between different employers in the same industry.

What is the accrual rate for long service leave?

In Victoria, the accrual rate for long service leave is generally 1/60th of an employee’s continuous service. This means that employees accrue one week of long service leave for every 60 weeks worked with the same employer. After ten years of continuous service, an employee is entitled to take ten weeks of paid long service leave. The accrual rate may vary depending on specific employment agreements or state regulations, so it’s essential to refer to the relevant laws and workplace policies for precise information.

How can I take my long service leave?

Once eligible, employees can choose to take their long service leave in various ways, providing them with the flexibility to balance their personal needs while ensuring business continuity for the employer. One option for taking long service leave is to take it as one continuous period. This allows employees to have an extended break from work, giving them the opportunity to rest, relax, and recharge. Taking long service leave as a continuous period can be especially beneficial for employees who wish to use the time for travel, spend quality time with family and loved ones, or pursue personal interests and hobbies.

Alternatively, employees can choose to take their long service leave in shorter blocks, subject to agreement with their employer. This arrangement can be advantageous for those who prefer to have more frequent breaks throughout the year rather than taking one long period of leave. Shorter blocks of long service leave can be useful for attending to personal commitments, addressing specific needs, or simply enjoying some additional time off without taking an extended absence from work.

The ability to take long service leave in different ways offers employees greater control over how they use their leave entitlement, making it a valuable and flexible benefit. This flexibility recognises that employees have diverse needs and priorities outside of work, and it empowers them to tailor their leave to suit their individual circumstances.

What is the payment rate for long service leave?

Long service leave is paid at the employee’s ordinary rate of pay at the time of taking the leave. This includes any relevant allowances and loadings that the employee would normally receive during regular working hours.

Can I preserve my long service leave?

In Victoria, long service leave entitlements are preserved even if the employee changes jobs or employers within the same industry. Therefore, if an employee switches employers but remains in the same industry, their years of service can be aggregated for the purpose of long service leave entitlements.

What are the obligations faced by employers?

Employers have a legal responsibility to keep accurate records of their employees’ continuous service and long service leave entitlements. They must also provide employees with access to information about their long service leave entitlements upon request.

Legal advice

Understanding the provisions and benefits of long service leave ensures a harmonious relationship between employers and employees, fostering a positive work environment in the state of Victoria. If you are still unsure about anything regarding long service leave, our highly experienced solicitors at our sister company, Legal Kitz can provide you with advice that is tailored to your situation, ensuring that your concerns are addressed. You can also request to book a FREE consultation or contact them at info@legalkitz.com.au or 1300 988 954. You can also check out our Business Kitz subscription service today to begin your business with a solid foundation that ensures legal compliance. 

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