13 Sep LONG SERVICE LEAVE CHANGES IN VICTORIA
Employers need to be aware of significant changes to employee entitlements to long service leave (“LSL”) in Victoria following the passing of the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic) (“New Act”) by the Victorian Parliament.
The New Act will replace the current Long Service Leave Act 1992 (Vic) (“Current Act”) and impact on the entitlements of employees in Victoria who are not excluded from the operation of the Act.
The changes are intended to provide greater fairness and flexibility for women, parents and carers.
SUMMARY OF THE KEY CHANGES TO LSL ENTITLEMENTS
OTHER CHANGES TO PENALTIES, OPERATION AND ENFORCEMENT
1. Powers of authorised officers will be broadened to require compliance with investigative requests and to issue notices requiring production of information or documents.
2. Penalties for failure to pay LSL will be increased to 60 penalty units for a body corporate and 12 penalty units for an individual.
3. Criminal penalties will now apply for taking adverse action against an employee because of their entitlement to LSL and for failing to disclose that an employment agreement would modify or remove an employee’s LSL entitlements.
WHEN WILL THE CHANGES TAKE EFFECT?
The New Act is due to come into effect by 1 November 2018 (unless proclaimed earlier).
The New Act will not apply retrospectively.
Time will tell whether other jurisdictions choose to adopt the same or similar changes.
HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR THE CHANGES?
If you have employees working in Victoria who may be affected by these changes, you can prepare for the changes by:
1. ensuring their contracts and any long service leave policy you have which covers them accord with the New Act;
2. training managers and supervisors about the changes so that they can adequately respond to requests for long service leave; and
3. ensuring payroll systems incorporate the new changes (e.g. ensuring long service leave accruals include periods of parental leave).
If you have any questions about how the new laws may affect your business, please contact the team at HR Law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.