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Frequently asked questions about Portable Long Service Leave.
What is long service leave? Why have a portable long service leave scheme?
In South Australia, most employees accrue long service leave under the Long Service Leave Act 1987 and must be employed with one employer for 10 years to be entitled to long service leave (or 7 years for a pro-rata payment). The portable scheme was introduced following negotiations between employers and unions in the 1970's, as due to the nature of the construction industry, workers performing building, electrical or metal trades work tended to change employers more often and couldn't stay with one employer long enough to accrue long service leave. The portable scheme allows workers to accrue long service leave benefits, regardless of the number of employers they have worked for.
How does Portable Long Service Leave work?
If you are performing work covered by the scheme, your employer is required to register you. We record the time you have spent in the industry and when you are eligible for long service leave, we make payment to you.
Because it is your employer's responsibility to register you, you are unable to register yourself.
How do I know if my employer has registered me?
When you are first registered, we will issue you with a worker registration number and password to login. It's a good idea to check your record on a regular basis to ensure all of your employers have registered you. If you don't know your worker registration number or password, please contact us.
When can I apply to take long service leave?
Once you have accrued 2,600 service days (equivalent to 10 years full time employment) you will be eligible to take 13 weeks long service leave.
What is a service day?
You will be credited with one service day for the following paid days:
Days worked over 5 hours
Rostered days off
Workers compensation (up to a period of 2 years)
Trade school days (apprentices)
How many service days can I accrue per year?
You can record a maximum of 260 service days per financial year (5 days per week x 52 weeks).
How many weeks of long service leave do I accrue per year?
You accrue 1 week of leave for every 200 service days that you record. If you record the maximum 260 days service in 1 year, you will accrue 1.3 weeks leave.
Does my time as apprentice count towards my long service leave?
Yes, if your apprenticeship is in building, electrical or metal work your employer is required to register you for Portable Long Service Leave. There is no cost for your employer, and during a 4 year apprenticeship you will accrue 5.2 weeks of long service leave.
What can I do if an employer hasn't registered me, but I think that they should have?
Speak to your employer about registration, or complete an investigation form so we can contact your employer.
What happens if I have a break from the industry?
You can have a break of up to 2 years (if you have less than 1,300 service days service) or up to 3 years (if you have more than 1,300 days service but less than 1,820 days service). If you have more than 1,820 days service you can be absent indefinitely without forfeiting your accrued service days.
I am currently on workcover, do I continue accruing service days?
Yes, your employer is required to continue registering you for Portable Long Service Leave for a maximum period of two years or until your employment is terminated (whichever comes first).
I have transferred to/or from a role that is not covered by Portable Long Service Leave. What happens to my long service leave?
If you have not accrued the 2,600 service days required to take long service leave, but you have accrued more 1,820 service days and you will not be performing building, electrical or metal work for a minimum period of 12 months, you can apply for a pro-rata payment. You will be paid the monetary equivalent of the weeks of leave you have accrued at the time you cease employment. Please note that by claiming a pro-rata payment, you will break your service for long service leave purposes. This means that you will need to accrue a further 1,820 service days (equivalent to 7 years full time employment) before you will qualify for any further benefit from the scheme.
I have not accrued enough service days to be eligible for a payment. What happens to the levies paid by my employers?
The levy payments made by employers are pooled into a fund that pays long service leave entitlements to workers and covers scheme administrative costs. If you do not accrue 1,820 service days you are not eligible to claim a payment. We have no discretion in this matter.
When I take long service leave, is there a minimum period?
Yes, long service leave must be taken in whole weeks and the minimum period is two weeks.
How do I apply for a payment?
Complete an application form. If you are currently registered, or you have been registered with us within the last 12 months, your current/last employer is required to complete Part 2 of the application form.
How much will I be paid?
The rate you will be paid per week will be calculated from your average ordinary weekly earnings within the last 12 months service as recorded by us at the time you take your leave.
If you have not had service recorded in the previous 12 months, you will be paid an average industry rate (calculated from the average weekly pay of workers in your classification of work, who took long service leave in the previous financial year)
Will my payment be taxed?
Yes, we are required to withhold tax. Long service leave payments will be taxed in accordance with the Australian Taxation Office PAYG withholding weekly tax table and leaving the industry claims will be taxed in accordance with the Australian Taxation Office tax table for unused leave payments on termination of employment.
What happens if there is a public holiday falls within my period of long service leave?
We will pay you as a long service leave day. Your employer will not pay you for the public holiday.
Can I extend my leave?
Yes, you may extend your leave. The minimum period is 1 week. You will need to complete a new application form.
What happens if I work interstate?
If you are working in the construction industry you will need to check that you are registered with the portable long service leave scheme in that State or Territory. If you are registered, your service interstate may be recognised. Contact details of all construction industry portable long service leave schemes can be found here.
When I move interstate, can my South Australian service be 'rolled over' or transferred to the portable long service leave scheme in my new state?
No, service cannot be 'rolled over' or transferred. Service will remain recorded in the relevant State or Territory in which the work was performed, until you make a claim for payment. You will need to keep track of the service you have accrued in each scheme yourself. When you have sufficient service for an entitlement in the scheme in which you are currently or were last registered, you can make a claim to that scheme.
What should I do if I am about to be deregistered by another portable long service leave scheme?
If you are now working in South Australia and you are about to be de-registered by a scheme in another State you should advise that scheme of your registration in South Australia. Please download a copy of your latest service statement and send it to them.