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How long service leave can be taken

Find out how and when long service leave can be taken

On this page

  • How long service leave can be taken
  • Know how long service leave can be taken over time
  • Understand payments and long service leave

Entitlement to take LSL

Under the Victoria Long Service Leave Act 2018 (LSL Act 2018), an employee is eligible to take long service leave (LSL) after the completion of 7 years’ continuous employment with one employer.

An employee can request to take LSL at any time after becoming entitled to take the leave. Leave can be taken for any period of not less than 1 day at a time. 

If an employee makes a request to take LSL, the employer must grant the leave as soon as practicable unless the employer has reasonable business grounds for refusing the request. The Definitions in section 3 of the LSL Act 2018 provide guidance on what is included in the meaning of ‘reasonable business grounds’.

For further guidance, email Wage Inspectorate Victoria or call 1800 287 287.      

Directing employees to take LSL

An employer may direct an employee to take LSL by giving at least 12 weeks’ written notice. If the employee does not want to take their leave at the time nominated by the employer, they can apply to the Industrial Division of the Magistrates’ Court for a decision about this dispute.

Taking LSL in advance

The employee and employer may agree on the leave being taken before an entitlement is actually due. If the employment is then terminated before LSL accrues, the employer may recover the amount of the leave taken in advance.

Taking LSL at half pay

An employee can request to take a period of LSL for twice as long as the period to which they are entitled, at half their ordinary pay.

If an employee makes a request to take their LSL in this way, the employer must grant the request unless the employer has 'reasonable business grounds' for refusing the request.

On the other hand, an employee cannot take half of their leave entitlement at double the rate of pay. See ‘Cashing out LSL prohibited’ below.

Example – Jane has accrued leave

Jane has 13 weeks accrued leave and can request to take a 26 week break at half pay. However, Jane isn't permitted to take half the leave at double pay.

Cashing out LSL prohibited

An employee cannot 'cash out' their LSL.

It is an offence under the LSL Act 2018 to give or receive payment instead of the employee actually taking the break from work.

An employee can only receive payment instead of taking LSL if their employment ends before the leave is actually taken.

The penalty for this offence is 12 penalty units for a natural person and 60 penalty units for body corporate. If an employer or employee is found guilty of this offence, a criminal conviction may also be recorded.

Need further assistance?

Looking for further assistance and advice about long service leave? Email Wage Inspectorate Victoria or call 1800 287 287.

We value your opinion

We welcome any feedback, comments or suggestions you might like to share with us.

If you own, are looking to purchase, or start a small business with under 20 employees, you may be eligible for our Long Service Leave Small Business Information Service (LSLSBIS).

LSLSBIS offers one-on-one information and advice regarding your responsibilities under the LSL Act 2018.

To access this program, contact Wage Inspectorate Victoria by giving them a call on 1800 287 287 or send them an email.