On this page
- Learn about the Long Service Leave Small Business Information service
- Read our scenarios to help you understand the rules
Long Service Leave changes coming 1 November 2018
The Long Service Leave Act 2018 will come into effect on 1 November 2018 and supersede the 1992 Act.
These changes include:
- greater flexibility for women, families and people transitioning to retirement
- access to long service leave after seven years, not ten
- allowing employees to take long service leave in smaller increments (i.e. for any period of one day or more)
- most absences from work do not break continuous employment
- unpaid leave, including parental leave, counts towards long service leave
- increased penalties for employers who do not keep records or do not produce them when requested.
This website, including the Long Service Leave calculator, will be updated to reflect those changes on 1 November.
About the Long Service Leave Small Business Information Service
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 provides one-on-one information and advice regarding your responsibilities under the Victoria Long Service Leave Act.
Find out if you're eligible
To find out if you're eligible to access LSLSBIS, contact Wage Inspectorate Victoria by giving them a call on 1800 287 287, or by sending them an email.
Starting a business
Long service leave is an important consideration for anyone looking to start a small business.
While you may not have any liability for long service leave until your employees have reached 7 years' service, it's vital to plan for long service leave from the beginning, and ensure that necessary records are kept.
Example – Ryan starts a small business
Ryan is looking to start a small business. He will be employing 3 casual staff initially.
He has found out about rates of pay, tax, superannuation and workers compensation insurance but he figures he will worry about long service leave down the track and thinks it doesn't apply to casuals anyway.
Without planning ahead for long service leave, Ryan is at risk of financial liabilities down the track.
Buying a business
If you're looking to purchase a business and will be continuing to employ the employees of that business, you're likely to be required to recognise their service from when they first started working at that place of employment.
Example – Sally purchases a newsagency
Sally has recently purchased a newsagency.
She has continued to employ the employees who were working at the newsagency. Sally opted not to recognise the employees' service with the previous owner, as the previous owner paid out the annual leave to the employees before Sally took over the business.
Sally didn't realise that – under the Victorian Long Service Leave Act – she is legally required to recognise the previous service of the employees that transferred with the business for the purposes of long service leave.
An employee who has worked at the newsagency for more than 10 years has requested to take a period of long service leave. Now Sally has to find the money to fund this.
If you're looking to purchase the assets from a company – which includes a company that has been placed into administration or liquidation – you may be liable for the long service leave of any employees who continue working in connection to those assets.
Example - Stephen purchases assets from liquidators
Stephen purchased the furniture and equipment from the liquidators of a company that runs a motel.
He then started running that motel and continued using the staff who were working at the motel. Some of those staff had more than 20 years' service.
Stephen didn't realise that he took on liability for the long service leave of those employees – and now he has to find the money to pay out 22 weeks of long service leave to an employee who's planning to retire.
We understand there are many things to consider when running a small business – and for businesses without a dedicated HR or payroll department – obligations under the different pieces of legislation can be confusing.
Ultimately employers will be liable for any errors.
Example – Tracey isn't sure about her payroll system
Tracy runs a retail clothing store. Her friend Tony also runs a retail store.
Tony recently mentioned to Tracy that his payroll system had been incorrectly calculating long service leave for his employees and now he has to find the money to rectify an incorrect long service leave payment made to an employee who resigned six months ago.
Tracy isn't sure how to check whether her payroll system is calculating long service leave correctly.
Is your business compliant?
Contact Wage Inspectorate Victoria today for assistance to ensure you are compliant with the Victorian Long Service Leave Act.