Review our comparison table below to see which entitlements have changed.

Changes to the Victorian Long Service Act

“All Victorian employers, and employers of employees who work in Victoria, need to be aware of the significant changes to the Long Service Leave act which come into effect on 1 November 2018 (unless proclaimed earlier by the Victorian Government). “

The 2018 Act does not alter the rate at which Long Service Leave (LSL) accrues, but it does make significant changes to LSL that will have practical implications for businesses operating in Victoria.

We have put together the handy comparison table below, to highlight the changes to Long Service Leave entitlements set out in the Act, as well as to make a clear comparison of which entitlements have changed. 

Now is the time to review and update any relevant policies and procedures (including payroll systems) to ensure LSL entitlements will be correctly calculated and administered once the new law takes effect.

Victorian Long Service Leave 2018 Summary

Main Changes to the Victorian Long Service Leave (LSL):

  1. Entitlement to take LSL has now been reduced to 7 years instead of 10 years previously;

  2. Increased flexibility in taking LSL – periods of leave are no longer restricted;

  3. Unpaid parental leave is now counted towards an employee’s continuous service for the purpose of LSL. Unpaid parental leave (relating to LSL) only applies to leave taken after the new Act comes into effect;

  4. Termination by either employer or employee (and re-hired within 3 months) no longer breaks continuity of employment;

  5. If an employee has no fixed hours within the preceding 2 years of them taking LSL, their average hours should be calculated in the 3 alternative ways specified;

  6. Breaches of the Act may now attract criminal liabilities;

  7. Employees attaining 7 years of continuous service upon this new Act taking effect are entitled to take their LSL entitlements under the new Act.

Description

Current Law

New Law

Long Service Leave in General

Entitlement to LSL

1/ Full entitlements upon reaching 10 years of continuous service with 1 employer (8.667 weeks)

2/ Pro rata entitlements after 7 years of continuous service with 1 employer (6.07 weeks).

Employee is entitled to take proportionate LSL after 7 years of continuous service with 1 employer (6.07 weeks).

Each subsequent year = additional 0.8667 weeks

Taking LSL

1/ LSL to be taken in 1 period only; or

2/ Where there’s an agreement between the employer and employee, the first 13 weeks may be taken in 2-3 separate periods; subsequent LSL in 2 separate periods.

An employee is entitled to request any period of LSL, as long as it is not less than 1 day.

Employer must grant the employee’s request to take LSL as soon as practicable and may only refuse on reasonable business grounds.

Employment Period

Unpaid Parental Leave

Any period of unpaid parental leave does not count towards employee’s period of continuous service for the purpose of LSL.

Any period within the initial 52 weeks of Unpaid Parental leave counts towards the employee’s period of continuous service for the purpose of LSL.

Resignation or Termination

Service is continuous if the termination is initiated by the employer, and the employee is re-employed within 12 weeks.

Service is continuous if the termination is initiated by the employer and/or employee, and the employee is re-employed within 12 weeks.

Calculating Leave

No fixed hours of work

Where an employee’s working hours have changed during the last 1 year immediately before taking LSL, their average hours should be the highest of either:

1/ Average weekly hours over past 12 months; or

2/ Average weekly hours over the past 5 years

Where an employee’s working hours have changed during the last 2 year immediately before taking LSL, their average hours should be the highest of either:

1/ Average weekly hours over past 12 months; or

2/ Average weekly hours over the past 5 years; or

3/ Average over the entire employment period.

Miscellaneous

Exemptions

Employer may apply to Magistrates Court to be exempted from complying with the provisions under the VIC LSL Act 1992

Employer’s right to apply is abolished, however existing exemptions still apply

Breaches of the Act

Breaches by employers will attract fines.

Breaches now will attract heavier penalties and may also attract criminal liability.

Transitional Provisions

Unpaid Parental Leave Applies Retrospectively? 

Only unpaid parental leave commencing after the date of this Act takes effect will be counted. (Section 57)

What about employees attaining 7 years upon the Act comes into effect?

If an employee attained 7 years after the legislation comes into effect, they are eligible to take their LSL under the new Act

Free Download: Termination Letter Template

Need to let an employee go? Use our letter of termination template to ensure you are using the correct format. 

termination letter template