Employers need to record service for their eligible employees by submitting quarterly returns to the Authority.
Returns must be submitted electronically through the Employer Portal. Employers can either directly enter their return information or, alternatively, download, complete and upload their information using a CSV file instead.
Once a return is submitted, employers will receive a confirmation of the levy due and instructions on how to make a payment.
Returns must be submitted and paid by the end of the month following each quarter.
Which employees to include in a return?
Each return must include a list of all covered employees and apprentices that have worked for the employer in the ACT in that quarter.
The following employees should not be included on an employer’s return:
- Working directors and sub-contractors (should be reported through a separate Contractor return)
- Employees not performing relevant work (e.g. office workers)
- Employees who did not perform work in the ACT in that quarter
- Employees that were ceased in previous quarters (unless they are returning to work for the employer, in which case the new start date should also be included)
What information to include in a return?
For each employee, the return must specify:
- Employee registration number with the Authority (if known)
- Employee name (should be the employee’s legal name, not a nickname, etc.)
- The start date and/or termination date of the employee (if applicable)
- The number of days the employee performed relevant work in the ACT
- The apprentice wages in relation to those days (if an apprentice)
- The gross ordinary wages in relation to those days (if employee)
For further information, refer to the Return Checklist and Calendar.
How to register a new employee?
To register a new employee, employers simply need to add them to their next return. This can be achieved by pressing the “Add new employee” button when editing the return through the Employer Portal, or by adding a new row in the CSV file.
Adding an employee on a return will automatically register the employee with the Authority, if they haven’t already been registered through a previous employer.
In addition to the information above, employers need to provide the following information when registering a new employee:
- Date of Birth
- Whether the employee is an apprentice or not
Apprentices must be included in each quarterly return.
Employers must provide a copy of the training contract to the ACT Long Service Leave Authority when registering the apprentice in order for the Authority to exempt their wages from the levy calculation. If the apprentice was registered electronically by adding them to the quarterly return, the copy of the training contract must be emailed separately to the Authority.
If an employer only had apprentices in a given quarter, there will be no levy due on that quarter. Note, however, that the employer is still required to lodge a return in order to specify the number of days worked and the apprentice wages. Failure to lodge a quarterly return by the due date may result in penalties for late lodgement.
If a registered employer no longer has any employees working in the ACT, they are still required to lodge a nil return for as long as their registration remains active. Failure to lodge a quarterly return by the due date may result in penalties for late lodgement.
Alternatively, the employer can contact the Authority to stop their registration, however if an employer subsequently has employees working in the ACT the employer must reapply for registration.
Employees working in multiple jurisdictions
If an employee performs work in multiple jurisdictions, only the days worked in the ACT should be reported in the quarterly return. Also, only the gross ordinary wages related to days worked in the ACT should be reported.
For example, if a worker worked 20 days in the ACT and 45 days in NSW in a quarter, the quarterly return should specify 20 days and the gross ordinary wages related to those 20 days.
Employers who fail to submit their returns by the due date will be liable to pay the Authority a late fee. The current fee for late submission is $100 for each month or part of a month that the quarterly return is late, up to a maximum of $300, for each late return.
In addition, employers who fail to pay their returns by the due date will be liable to pay the Authority a late payment fee. The current fee for late payment is $100 for each month or part of a month that the payment is late, up to a maximum of $300, for each late return.
Note that a return that is submitted and paid late will attract both fees. For example, an employer who submits a return 15 days after the due date, and pays it 30 days later, will be liable for 1 late submission fee and 2 late payment fees, to a total value of $300. The maximum penalty for late submission and payment combined is $600 per quarterly return.
The Authority sends automatic email reminders to all registered employers about a week before the returns are due.
Employers who are unable to submit or pay a return by the due date may request an extension of time by contacting the Authority before the due date.