Colac Auditors explain Victoria’s New Portable Long Service Scheme

Posted on 28/10/2019 by Matthew Baker in Audit & Advisory, News
Matthew Baker
Matthew Baker is an Associate and Managing Accountant within the Audit and Assurance Group at Colac's Sinclair Wilson office.  Matthew specialises in conducting external and internal audit services for his diverse...

Does your Colac organisation employ cleaners, security personnel or community service workers?

Did you know that as of 1 July, these employees will be subject to the provisions of the Long Service Benefits Portability Act 2018 and that you, as an employer, must register as an organisation that  has employees who are covered by the  Portable Long Service Scheme?

No? Sinclair Wilson can help.

The Portable Long Service Scheme was introduced so that Victorian workers in the cleaning, security and community service sectors could earn long service leave, even though they might regularly change employer.

Normally, an employee is expected to spend an extended amount of time with one employer to earn long service leave. The State Government recognised that remaining with one employer for seven to 10 years was virtually impossible in some industries, due to the contract and project nature of the work in that industry. The Portable Long Service Scheme allowed for employees in these most at-risk industries to accrue their long service leave across employers, over time.

The introduction of the scheme from 1 July this year means employers must now register online as an employer with the Portable Long Service Authority to ensure those they employ accrue the long service leave they are owed.

Once registered, these employers must lodge a quarterly return to the Portable Long Service Authority online, every 3 months from now.

The first return will require registered employers to register all workers for the first time, and will also include information about:

  • All eligible works who have worked during the quarter
  • Hours they have worked
  • Ordinary pay received during the quarter
  • Any long service leave they have taken under another arrangement
  • Details of any workers terminated during the quarter

Once the return is lodged, an invoice will be issued to the business to pay the employer levy within 14 days, with the levy being set at

  • 1.65% for community services
  • 1.80% for contract cleaning and security of workers ordinary pay

The employer contributions paid to the Authority for their workers are then invested by the Authority and will be used to pay workers when they make a claim for long service.

To be eligible under the scheme, employers and workers must meet certain eligibility tests as defined under the Act, including the predominance test. Sinclair Wilson can provide more information on the specific employer and worker tests, or you can head to the Portable Long Service Authority website.