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Queensland Portable Long Service Leave

Long service leave can be tricky territory to navigate in our industry and general rules relating to the payment and taking of long service leave apply in Queensland under the QLeave Authority.

Separated into two parts, Payments and Rules and Service Credits, this resource will guide you through the general rules relating to the payment and taking of long service leave. Additionally, the information will guide you through understanding Service Credits and their relevant operation under the QLeave Authority.

Payments and Rules

The general rule

Provided a registered worker has:

  • accrued at least 10 years’ worth of service credits either with the authority or an interstate scheme (that is 2,200 combined service credits); and
  • service credits to that effect (as calculated under the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991 (Qld)); then
    they (or if deceased, their personal representative) may apply to the Authority for long service leave.

The exception to the general rule

If the registered worker:

  • has accrued at least five years but less than 10 years of service;
  • has been credited with retrospective service credits; and
  • either intends to permanently stop work in the building and construction industry or has passed away; then
    the worker (or their personal representative) is entitled to long service leave before the initial 10-year period has expired. In this situation, the worker must complete and submit to the Authority a ‘Special Provision Worker Claim – Section 57(1B)’. Where the worker has passed away and a personal representative is involved, a ‘Personal Representative Claim’ form must be completed instead.

Rules for taking long service leave

  • Long service leave is exclusive of any public holiday that happens during the period when leave is taken;
  • A worker cannot request or agree to carry out building and construction work for the period of leave;
  • The worker’s employer (immediately prior to leave being taken) must not offer or allow the worker to carry out building and construction work during this period of leave; and
  • A worker cannot receive a long service leave benefit from both the Authority and the employer for the same period of service. Note: Long service leave is assumed and paid for ordinary hours worked.

Payment of long service leave

1. How to get paid

The registered worker must make a written application to the Authority. Once the Authority is satisfied that the registered worker is entitled to payment, it will make the relevant payment to the worker.

2. Payment under law in another state or territory

Either a registered worker or an employer may apply to the Authority for a long service leave payment which is calculated in accordance with the relevant law of another state or territory. Note: Only 220 days service is required for any financial year in Queensland.

3. Employer claim for reimbursement

If a registered worker was provided with long service leave other than under this Act (e.g., the Industrial Relations Act 1990 (Qld) or the Workplace Relations Act 1997 (Qld)), then the employer may make an application to the Authority for full or partial reimbursement for any long service leave benefit paid to a registered worker. The employer must make this application within three months of these benefits having been provided.

If an employer can show the Authority that it is unable to pay the registered worker the total amount of long service leave benefit, the Authority may choose to make a combined payment to the worker. The employer would need to:

a) calculate the total amount of long service leave benefit for which it has liability;
b) calculate the amount which the authority would have reimbursed the employer if they provided the full long service leave benefit;
c) subtract b) from a) to give the dollar figure which represents the amount the employer is liable and must pay to the Authority; and
d) upon receipt of payment, the Authority will make up the balance so that the worker receives their full long service leave benefit.

Employers have up to two years to claim reimbursement of long service leave payments to members of the Scheme.

4. Compliance information
  • QLeave officers may request information or documents relating to a building or construction project from any person the Authority reasonably believes may have that information;
  • QLeave officers may request information from employers to determine if they are employing or engaging workers and should be supplying Certificates of Service; and
  • Penalties for non-compliance of the legislative requirements apply.

Service Credits

Service Credits and method of calculation

Service Credits are the number of days’ service that has been accrued towards a long service leave benefit. Once 2,200 Service Credits (being the equivalent of 10 years) have accrued, a registered worker is entitled to 8.67 weeks paid long service leave.

QLeave provides (to actively registered workers) a Notice of Service every November. A worker may request a Notice of Service at any time during the year from the Authority. The notice will provide:

  • the number of days service for the relevant period; and
  • the total number of days which have accrued to date.

Leaving the industry

If a registered worker has left the industry and come back, the worker should contact the Authority to find out how the break will affect the service record. A registered worker may temporarily leave the industry for four years before the membership is cancelled. Note: If working interstate, advise QLeave of this.

To find out more, contact HIA's Contracts and Compliance team

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