Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Deadline For Registration Under The New Portable Long Service Benefits Scheme Ends Soon

We have previously discussed the introduction of new portable long service leave in Victoria, in our article here.

The portable long service leave scheme has been introduced for employees in the following industries:

  • community services sector;
  • contract cleaning industry; and
  • security industry.

The scheme was introduced so that employees in the covered industries who frequently change employers due to the nature of those industries will have the ability to move their long service leave entitlements between different employer entities in their industry.

From 1 July 2019, businesses employing staff in the covered industries must register with the Portable Long Service Authority. Registration must be completed by 30 September 2019. New businesses in covered industries must registered within three months of establishment.

Businesses that are unsure as to whether they are required to be registered are encouraged to seek advice before 30 September 2019.

The portable long service leave scheme does not create any entitlement to take long service leave but provides a benefit in lieu of leave. Workers retain their rights to accrue long service under the Long Service Leave Act 2018, and, if relevant, under a federal industrial instrument. Employers need to have sufficient funds to meet these obligations as they are separate to the Portable Scheme.

However, the Act includes double-dipping provisions that allow an employer to claim a reimbursement from the Authority in certain circumstances, if they pay the worker under a different scheme.

There have been a number of issues identified in the mechanics of the scheme and it is not entirely clear how the scheme will interact with existing long service leave laws. While the Authority may not yet have contemplated how some of these issues will be managed, there is some time to work through these issues as it will be six years before the first group of workers are entitled to portable long service leave.

In the meantime, we will provide updates as the scheme develops.

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This article was produced by HR Legal. It is intended to provide general information only in summary format on legal issues. It does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as such.

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