The portable long service leave scheme for the community sector
We administer the portable long service leave scheme for the community sector industry in the ACT in accordance with the Long Service Leave Act (Portable Schemes) Act 2009.
The scheme allows eligible workers to move between employers in the community sector while still accruing service towards a long service leave entitlement.
The scheme even allows workers to accrue long service leave while self-employed.
In the ACT, community sector workers registered on or after 1 July 2010 are entitled to:
- 4.33 weeks of portable long service leave after 5 years of recorded service in the industry
- 0.867 weeks of leave for every year after 5 years.
How the community sector industry scheme works
In the ACT, employers with employees covered under the scheme must:
- register with us
- pay a levy set at 1.60% of the gross ordinary wages of those workers.
Contractors, such as working directors, sole traders or individual partners in a partnership, have the option to make their own contributions if they wish to accrue service in the scheme.
Contractor registration with the scheme is voluntary. The benefit is a payment instead of leave.
When a worker decides to claim some or all of their portable long service leave entitlement, they can lodge a long service leave claim form with ACT Leave.
Interstate community sector industry service
There are similar schemes for the community sectors in Victoria and Queensland, however there are some differences in the:
- type of work covered
- benefits offered under the scheme.
We do not have any agreements in place with other states or territories.
This scheme only applies to service recorded in the ACT.
Coverage for employers and workers in the community sector industry
Workers covered under the scheme include:
- employees and contractors performing relevant work defined below
- working directors.
A worker can be an employee working for salary or wages, or a contractor. Employees can be full-time, part-time or casual.
A key difference between employees and contractors is:
- employers must record service for their employees
- contractors and working directors can choose to record service for themselves.
Relevant services in the community sector industry
Relevant services include:
- education and care services (means an approved education and care service under the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011, section 5 (1))
- residential aged care services (from 1 July 2016)
- community aged care services (from 1 July 2016)
- these residential care services:
- Care accommodation or homes for disadvantaged people where nursing or medical care is not provided as a major service.
- Residential corrective services for young offenders.
- non-residential care welfare services (including fundraising services for welfare services) not included in other community sector industries
- employment placement services for people with disability
- community service advocacy services.
This applies to work carried out in the industry, independent of the role performed by the worker. That means, in most cases, all the employees of an employer are covered. For example, the chef and the admin staff of a childcare centre are covered.
Not covered in the community sector industry
Workers who are not performing relevant work as defined above are not covered by the scheme. Here are some examples:
- A labour hire company outsources nurses to aged care providers and hospitals. Nurses only working at the hospital are not covered, while nurses that work with the aged care providers are covered.
- An independent school provides Kindergarten to Year 6 education, as well as before and after school care programs. Most teachers and the administration staff are not covered. Only those staff involved in providing before and after school care services are covered.
If you’re not sure if your workers are covered, contact us to clarify.