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Queensland QLeave

Learn about Queensland’s portable long service leave scheme for the construction industry, who is responsible for paying the levy, and who is eligible to register.

This resource will guide you through QLeave including its introduction, relevance to working directors and labour only subcontractors, and the registration process for an employer. QLeave is an essential scheme in Queensland and should be considered in detail when hiring registered workers. The scheme manages and prescribes certain criteria which must be met for workers to be entitled to portable long service leave.

An introduction

Portable long service leave levy

The Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Scheme was established by the Queensland Government in 1991 to provide long service leave entitlements for workers in the building and construction industry.

It was recognised that the industry is project driven. For many workers, it would be impossible to accrue enough service to be eligible for long service leave under one particular employer, so the scheme provides benefits based on service to the industry.

The Building and Construction Industry Levy was imposed to provide funds for the scheme. The Levy is collected on all building and construction work in Queensland at a total cost of $80,000.00 or more. It is paid in conjunction with the Workplace Health and Safety Notification Fee and provides funds for training in the industry.

The Levy is payable prior to the issue of a development permit or prior to the start of work if no development permit is required. The Levy is payable on the total contract price (or the sum of the total contract prices if there is more than one).

The applicant named on the building or development application must pay the Levy so that local authorities and private certifiers can sight a receipted copy before providing a development permit.

Building and construction work and non-compliance

Building and construction work is defined as any work performed in the building and construction industry and includes all constructing, deconstructing, reconstructing, renovating, altering, demolishing, relocating, maintaining, or repairing work.

The Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991 (Qld) provides for penalties of up to 40 penalty units for breaches of the Act.

Eligibility for QLeave

Persons eligible

The following persons are eligible to register for QLeave: 

  • apprentices and trainees;
  • casual employees;
  • permanent employees;
  • subcontractors (who perform labour only);
  • forepersons and sub-forepersons;
  • directors (who perform or directly supervise building and construction work);
  • safety officers; and
  • persons carrying out building and construction work who are engaged by a labour hire agency. 

Persons not eligible

Despite carrying out building and construction work, the following persons may not be eligible to register for QLeave:

  • a partner in a partnership;
  • a trustee of a trust;
  • a company director paid other than by wages;
  • a subcontractor who provides the principal material; or
  • a person paid to achieve a stated result or outcome and supply all, or substantially all, of the plant and equipment or tools of trade needed to perform the work and are, or
  • would be, liable for the cost of fixing a fault with the work performed.

QLeave registration for employers and employees

Employer registration

Under the Building and Construction Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 1991 (Qld), an employer in the building and construction industry who engages eligible persons must: 

  • register with QLeave;
  • provide Certificates of Service to QLeave and to all eligible persons;
  • keep books and records as required by the Act; and
  • advise QLeave of any changes in circumstances (e.g., company restructure or change in the type of work undertaken).

Employers engaging eligible persons must complete an Employer Registration Application form and return it to QLeave.

Employee registration

An eligible worker must register for QLeave by completing a Worker Registration Application form and returning it to QLeave.

Additional information and records

Employers who engage eligible workers must keep and maintain books and records showing:

  • each worker’s QLeave membership number;
  • details of building and construction work performed; and
  • the serial numbers of each Certificate of Service that has been completed.

Records must be kept for six years from the last entry and be made available for inspection by QLeave.

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

Email us

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