Unions welcome Vic’s portable long service leave proposal

The nature of the workplace has changed and employee access to long service leave should also change, according to the ACTU.

ACTU Secretary, Dave Oliver yesterday told the Victorian Government inquiry into the portability of long service leave entitlements that single-employer based long service leave models were no longer adequate for the modern workplace.

The ACTU submission to the inquiry proposes three potential models for portable long service leave.

Firstly, the approved deposit fund model; where employers deposit the funds into an account that rolls over into new accounts that follow an employee from workplace to workplace.

Secondly, an industry-based defined benefit fund model; a more limited portability model where employers register as part of an industry based fund and workers entitlements are accrued from workplace to workplace as long as they stay in the defined industry. 

And thirdly, an accumulation model; Similar to how superannuation currently operates employers would pay long service leave entitlements into an account held for the worker by an approved financial institution which the worker could only access the funds after meeting release criteria.

The Australian Industry Group also delivered a statement to the inquiry.

Stephen Smith, the Ai Group’s Head of National Workplace Relations Policy said, “Ai Group very strongly opposes any extension of the portability of long service leave entitlements beyond the building and construction industry in Victoria where these entitlements already exist.

“Portable long service leave schemes conflict with the fundamental purpose of long service leave which is to reward an employee with a period of rest after a long period of loyal service with one employer.”