Long service leave after seven years in the one job, rather than 10, and being able to take small blocks of earned leave, rather than big swathes.
These are now all legislated realities in Victorian workplaces following the introduction of a new Long Service Act at the start of the month.
1 November marked the first day of the new legislation, which also mandates that unpaid leave, such as maternity leave, could also count towards continuous service.
Whether these new changes to Long Service Leave change what happens in your workplace tends to depend on your employer; what’s being introduced or changed are, in many cases, circumstances that many employers already offered.
The difference now is these considerations – which are, essentially, practical and employee-focused, are mandated by law.
So, gains for the employee are enhanced access to leave, and a better chance to accumulate their long service leave.
But what does it mean for employers?
In one sense, good record-keeping becomes even more important.
More than ever, wage records will be vital so employers – and employees – can demonstrate and track long service leave entitlements.
To some business owners, this seems obvious. But long service leave is one of those elements of business ownership that can be overlooked or neglected, particularly when employing casual or seasonal workers.
A business’ long service leave liability must also be well-managed; long service leave can be a hefty liability on a business balance sheet, particularly businesses with long-standing, loyal and dedicated employees.
It can be tricky to get the balance right. It’s no coincidence that loyal and dedicated employees, who have rightfully owned long service leave, are the same employees who tend to take a lot of convincing to be away from their workplace for longer-than-usual periods of time!
Keeping track of details like this will be aided, to some extent, by the mandatory introduction of single-touch-payroll for small employers from 1 July next year. Employers should act now to ensure their payroll and systems comply with ATO and Fair Work Requirements, to avoid a rush in mid-2019.
It’s something Sinclair Wilson’s professional business advisory team, which has a dedicated HR Expert, in Mark Robson, are well-equipped to review your current payroll systems and provide practical solutions to manage your employee leave liability, systems and general management.