Generally speaking, long service leave is a period of paid leave for employees who have been working for the same business for a period of time. In NSW there are two long service schemes applicable for the building and construction industry. The rules surrounding application are governed by the:
- Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Act 1986 (NSW) (Portable Scheme)
- Long Service Leave Act 1955 (NSW) (State Scheme)
The Portable Scheme is an industry based scheme that provides portable long service leave for workers in the building and construction industry and is administered by the Long Service Corporation. It covers both employed and self-employed workers who perform building and construction work in NSW. The scheme rewards long service to the industry.
Under the State Scheme, after working for the same employer for 10 years an employee will be entitled to long service leave. Please note, an employee is only entitled to payment under one scheme.
What do employers need to know?
It is a requirement under the Portable Scheme for all employers of workers who perform building and construction work within NSW to register with the Corporation as an employer and to notify the Corporation of a worker’s commencement, service, and cessation of employment.
Within 7 days of a worker starting, employers need to complete and lodge a Start Notice for all workers covered by the legislation (whether they are already registered or not – if not already registered, the Corporation will register the worker). Workers covered by the legislation are those that perform building and construction work on or offsite. This includes workers who directly supervise building and construction work, providing they physically perform work. The scheme does not cover workers who perform office/ administrative tasks such as estimators, architects, designers and engineers.
Employers do not pay direct contributions for their employees and there is no cost to workers or employers to join the scheme. An employer must be a member to begin recording service.
The scheme is financed by a 0.35% levy payable on building and construction works in NSW valued over $25,000.
How to join
To register as an employer under the Portable Scheme you must complete a registration form, which can be obtained by calling 13 14 41 or on the Corporation’s website www.longservice.nsw.gov.au. The Start Notice for new employees can also be filled in online or lodged in paper form.
What happens after you notify the Corporation of a new employee starting?
The Corporation will register an employee if they are not already registered and will send the employee a card showing their registration number which will remain the same even if they change employers. Therefore some employees may already have a registration number.
Each year in the first week of July the employer will be required to complete an Employer Return. This is due for return by 31 July; employers need to ensure details are correct for each employee. Where an employee is not listed, or is listed but is no longer employed, opportunity exists to either submit a Start Notice (if had not previously done so when employee commenced) or indicate the date of termination (where no longer employed).
There is an obligation to notify the Corporation via an End Notice of an employee’s termination, within 7 days of the employee’s termination. The Corporation will send the workers an annual statement of recorded service.
For more information about how the scheme operates for employers, employees or self-employed contractors contact the Corporations helpline on 13 14 41. For more information HIA members should contact your Hunter Workplace Advisor on 1300 650 620.
HIA Executive Director – Hunter