ACT Long Service Leave Authority

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COVID-19 Response

Early access to portable long service leave

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety announced a new portable long service leave entitlement for workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authority Operations

The Authority has modified its business operations in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. As the situation continues to evolve, we will provide updates via our website.

Key Changes to service delivery:

    • As of 4.30pm Monday, 23 March, the Authority has stopped providing in-person assistance to clients at our office. We encourage our clients to contact us via email at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.
    • As of 4:30pm Thursday, 2 April, all Authority staff have commenced working from home. This means that you will not be able to speak to a staff member immediately if you phone the Authority. We are still monitoring our phone system, so if you do call the Authority we encourage you to leave a message which will be responded to as quickly as possible. Alternatively, you may email your query through to us at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.
    • The January to March quarterly return period was openned a week early, on Tuesday 24 March with a due date of Thursday 30 April.  If you’d like to ask for an extension of time to lodge or pay for this quarter, please contact us at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.
    • The 20 weeks waiting period for “leaving the industry” claims (Construction and Cleaning schemes) is currently being waived due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Authority has a business continuity plan specifically to allow it to plan, prepare, respond and recover in the event of business disruption as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

This plan recognises the role of the Authority in providing support to our clients during this time. As such, we have taken steps to ensure the following:

  • Client enquiries continue to be answered. The Authority is no longer able to provide in-person assistance to clients at our office or to directly answer phone calls, however if you call us, we encourage you to leave a message, which we will respond to as quickly as possible. Alternatively, contact us via email at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.
  • Claims are paid. We are prioritising claims processing over other non-urgent tasks in order to ensure that eligible workers have access to their long service leave entitlements if needed. If you’d like to submit a claim, please complete a claim form and send it to enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.
  • Employers receive assistance with their quarterly returns. We will continue to provide employers with all assistance necessary to lodge quarterly returns.  The January to March quarterly return period was openned on Tuesday 24 March with a due date of Thursday 30 April.  If you’d like to ask for an extension of time to lodge or pay for this quarter, please contact us at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.

FAQ

Are there any delays expected for making long service leave claim payments?

The Authority is currently maintaining normal processing times for claim payments (5-10 business days). Our business continuity plan prioritises claims processing over other tasks, however processing times may slow down if staff become unwell or all staff are required to work from home. The Authority will closely monitor claim payment times and advise clients if any delays are expected.

Can I cancel or delay the payment for my long service leave already submitted?

Yes. If you have not yet received your payment, you can contact us at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au to have your payment cancelled or deferred.

How do I apply for a long service leave payment?

You can check if you have reached an entitlement by logging into our Worker Portal.

If you have reached an entitlement, you can download a claim form from our website by visiting one of the pages listed below, complete it and submit it to us via email at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.

Can I submit a claim as a precaution and then cancel it?

While we understand that circumstances are changing rapidly at this time, to avoid the potential for overpayments or putting unnecessary pressure on our resources, we request that you wait until you have made a conclusive decision to proceed with your claim before submitting a claim form.

Is there a hardship provision for workers to access their long service leave benefits before reaching an entitlement?

A new early release entitlement is now available to workers who have at least 18 months of service recorded in the ACT alone with at least one day of service recorded in the last 12 months, whose normal pattern of work has been severely impacted by COVID-19.

Can I still come into the office for in-person assistance?

As of 4.30pm Monday, 23 March, the Authority will stop providing in-person assistance to clients at our office. We encourage our clients to contact us via email at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au.

What will happen if the Authority closes?

If the Authority were required to close response times may slow down as Authority staff would have to work from home. Arrangements are in place for any incoming phone calls to be diverted to voicemail, with staff returning calls at a later stage. As the Authority would be unable to process physical mail until the office re-opened, we strongly encourage clients to contact us via email at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au as this will provide the fastest response times.

What happens if I can’t lodge my quarterly return by the due date?

The Authority has provisions to offer Employers an extension of time for lodgement and payment of quarterly returns. If you think you may be unable to lodge and pay your return on time, please contact us at enquiry@actleave.act.gov.au to request an extension of time.