Last week we began our two-part series on Long Service Leave (LSL) covering payroll, employees taking LSL, and problems with payroll systems. Hopefully, you enter this week’s segment understanding some of the key complications involved in LSL calculations.
Today, we will be discussing differing state legislation and how they affect LSL calculations, as well as the relationship between LSL legislation and instruments (such as awards or enterprise agreements).
State LSL legislation
LSL is one of the 11 National Employee Standards that form the minimum entitlements that must be provided to each employee. However, each state and territory across Australia has different rules around LSL that are outlined in their respective regulations (Acts). The rules vary between the amount of time off work an employee can have, the rate at which the leave is paid, how to calculate that rate, and what LSL is paid when an employee is leaving their employer (this can be different depending on the reason the employee leaves their employment). Other considerations between each state are:
- Can an employee cash out LSL in the state they work in?
- How do bonus and commission payments get calculated, if at all?
- What are the rules of break-in-service, does the break mean the LSL starts again?
- Can the employee take the leave at any time and what amount of leave?
- When calculating the rate of LSL, how far back in the employee's history do you need to look? (Tip: in some states you need to look at the full employment history)
Details on the rule per state or territory can be found in below links:
- New South Wales – Long Service Leave Act 1955
- Victoria – Long Service Leave Act 2018
- Queensland – Industrial Relations Act 2016
- South Australia – Long Service Leave Act 1987
- Western Australia – Long Service Leave Act 1958
- Tasmania – Long Service Leave Act 1976
- Northern Territory – Long Service Leave Act 1981
- Australian Capital Territory – Long Service Leave Act 1976
Relationship between legislation and Instrument
Another level of complexity with LSL 8is the relationship between state LSL legislation and the award or agreement the employee works under. It can be challenging to navigate which rules are applied to certain cohorts of employees. If you have any questions on what rules would reign supreme for your employees' LSL entitlements, it is always best to seek legal advice.
As we’ve shown over this series, LSL can be a complex beast if you’re tackling it without support or proper resources. LSL calculations do not have to cause you stress if you’re listening to the right people, or using accurate and up-to-date information.