Making Long Service Leave Fairer And More Flexible

The Andrews Labor Government is making long service leave fairer for women, families and those transitioning to retirement.

Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins today announced a new Long Service Leave Bill that will stop parents being discriminated against and losing hard earned long service leave.

Currently, if an employee takes more than 12 months unpaid parental leave they lose continuity of service, and any accrued long service leave entitlements.

This undervalues the vital contributions parents make to their workplaces – particularly women, who are disproportionately affected by this unfair and outdated arrangement.

Under the changes, any period of paid parental leave and up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave, will count as service – meaning parents aren’t punished for staying at home longer with their children.

The new laws will also provide greater flexibility in how long service leave can be taken.  They will reduce the minimum period for long service leave to one day, giving employees greater flexibility – particularly when transitioning to retirement.

The laws will also allow workers to apply for leave after seven years’ service – as soon as long service leave entitlements begin accruing – rather than after 10 years.

The current Act discriminates against employees who have changed their working hours, often due to parental or care responsibilities. The new Bill, which will be introduced into Victorian Parliament later this month, will remove this discrimination by ensuring entitlements can be averaged over the entire period of employment.

A tougher approach will be taken to ensure compliance with the laws and this will include changes to ensure that when a business changes hands employees don’t lose their entitlements.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins

These changes will make long service leave fairer and more accessible for all Victorians.”

“People shouldn’t be discriminated against because they want to spend more time at home when their kids are born, or change their working hours to look after a loved one.”

The new laws will provide greater flexibility to women, families and those transitioning to retirement – and end the outdated notion that parental leave should be treated less favourably than other forms of leave.