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Portable Long Service Leave in the Community Services Sector


This year, after years of persistent campaigning by HACSU members, we won Portable Long Service Leave (PLSL) for community sector workers, including disability workers, from 1 January 2020. This is an
historic win for members who often work in insecure work with changing employment across the sector.

From January 1st 2020, any activity funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be prescribed as a community service under the PLSL legislation, and therefore will be deemed to be in scope. This means that our members working across the disability sector will be able to accrue long service leave which you can take with you when you change to a new employer.


How does it work?

Whenever you’re paid at work, your employer contributes to a fund. The fund is monitored and managed by the Portable Long Service Leave Authority (The Authority). When entitled, you can access your long service leave benefits through The Authority.

Your employer must provide information to The Authority regarding how many hours you’ve worked, your ordinary pay and any long service leave you’ve accessed during the period. When you’re ready to take your leave, the process remains the same; you still apply through your employer.



Who's included?

Two tests are required to determine who will be included in the PLSL scheme. The first is an employer test; the employer must have at
least one eligible staff member who performs duties primarily in the community services sector. 

The second test is a worker test; to be eligible the predominant duties of the worker’s substantive role must be the personal delivery of services or activities deemed community services work.


Who's not included?

Anyone who is employed predominantly in health or aged care is not included in this scheme. Employees of the Municipal Councils, State or Federal Governments, including employees of DHHS are also excluded from the scheme. 

The scheme will not be retrospective, meaning it will only include long service leave you accrue from the beginning of 2020. While you won’t lose any of the leave you’ve accrued thus far, you won’t be able to take it with you if you move jobs.

Any workers currently employed by DHHS or those who have seconded to a new provider from DHHS won't start accumulating portable benefits until formal transfer has occurred in January 2021. As per the DSEAV, your long service leave will transfer with you when you formally transfer in January 2021.

For members working primarily in health or mental health, while you aren’t covered under this scheme, your EBA provides you with long service leave and it is considered best practice by employers that your long service leave follow you if you are employed by a service who is party to the agreement.

Kate Marshall, incoming Assistant State Secretary is supporting members’ interests as a Board Member with the PLSL Authority: 

"This is an amazing win for members who work in an everchanging sector. We know the disability sector in Victoria can be an insecure place to work. Through our members campaigning in the area, we've managed to create more security for those working in an integral community service ."