Long Service Leave: The facts
What is Long Service Leave and who is entitled to it?
Long Service Leave (LSL) is leave granted to any employee whether they are full time, part-time or casual for 10 years of continuous service to an employer.
If you have more than 10 years but less than 15 years of service, your LSL entitlement continues to accrue on a pro-rata basis.
For service in excess of 15 years LSL is calculated on completed years of service only.
How much LSL am I entitled to?
Any worker who has 10 years of continual service is entitled to two months (8.67 weeks) of LSL.
If you have between five and no more than 10 years of service you are eligible to a pro-rata amount if you:
- resign as a result of illness or incapacity, or as a result of a domestic or other pressing necessity
- are dismissed for any reason except serious and willful misconduct
- pass away.
How will my LSL be calculated?
You are entitled to receive the amount that is greater:
- the ordinary rate of pay which was being received at the time of going on LSL; or
- in the case of casual employees and others whose weekly earnings vary, the average weekly amount of ordinary pay earned by you in the 12 months or five years immediately preceding the date upon which LSL is to be taken.
When can I take my LSL?
LSL should be taken as soon as practicable after it falls due, subject to your employer’s operational requirements. However it may be postponed to a time that you and your employer agree on. Whilst your employer can ask you to take your LSL the exact timing of your leave should be agreed between you and your employer. You must give your employer one month’s notice of the commencement date of your LSL.
How can my LSL be taken?
LSL can be taken in one continuous period of leave if you and your employer agree:
- where the leave owing is two months - in two separate periods
- where the leave owing is between two months and 19.5 weeks - in two or three separate periods; or
- where the leave exceeds 19.5 weeks - in two, three or four separate periods.
Can I be paid out my LSL instead of taking the leave?
No. The LSL entitlement must be taken as leave. Payment of LSL entitlement is only made on termination of employment.
What happens if a public holiday occurs during LSL?
An extra day must be included in the LSL if it is a day that you would have been entitled to receive payment for.
If I take leave, does it break the continuity of my service?
Employer-approved absences from work do not break the continuity of your service. In addition, if you are absent from work on account of illness or workers’ compensation you are entitled to count the period of such absence when calculating your length of service.
However some unpaid absences, such as parental leave, are not counted as time worked therefore are not included in your period of service when calculating LSL.
How can I find out what my accrued LSL is?
Check your payslip as it may indicate your accrued LSL entitlement.
If you have between five and 10 years in service, your accrued entitlements may not appear on your payslip. Employers are required to keep LSL records however and can provide details of your entitlements on request.
Where can I obtain further information?
If you have any questions regarding your LSL entitlements speak to your workplace Delegate or contact the SDA’s helpline on 1300 732 HELP (1300 732 4357).