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Portable Long Service Leave provides benefits to both employers and employees.
Anyone who works in the construction industry knows it’s a little bit different from the normal 9-5.
Portable long service leave exists because the construction industry is mostly project-based meaning workers frequently move from project to project and employer to employer.
Back in the 1970's industry groups (both employers and employees) recognised this unique aspect and that for most workers in construction long service leave would be unachievable. Wanting to ensure a strong, vibrant, and attractive industry to existing workers and newcomers they adopted a portable model and Portable Long Service Leave was born. This meant long service leave could be taken from employer to employer as long as you stayed in the industry.
Sounds good right? We think so and here’s why:
We think portable long service leave is great and adds to the prosperity of the building and construction industry. However with everything there can be a downside. Here’s what's not so great about portable long service leave:
Over the years there have been hundreds of studies both locally and internationally on the effect of both paid and unpaid leave on the workforce. Most of these center around annual leave, sick leave, and parental leave but the premise applies to long service leave as well.
And that is, whether paid or unpaid, leave can have a significant positive effect on long term productivity through improvement in health and well being.
With tight margins and timeframes construction has to be an industry with high productivity. Downtime associated with unplanned sick leave, stress and mental health issues, injury, low morale and motivation can mean the difference in delivery of a successful project.
It stands to reason that long service leave has an important part to play in the industry.
Fortunately, in construction, long service leave is portable meaning it is more achievable and readily accessible providing a valuable tool to refresh and recharge your workforce and industry. Paying a bimonthly levy means there is no large payment to make when an employee takes leave either.
Because it is compulsory across the sector there are no free riders and whether you are a long term or short term employer you contribute equivalently and share the dividends of a highly productive workforce.
Other industries are catching onto the benefits this brings to an industry and construction has been doing it for 40 years!
Discuss Long Service Leave openly with your employees and plan and encourage with them to utilise it for a decent break ready to return to the workforce rested, motivated and productive. You can both share in the benefits it will bring!