Understanding Portable Long Service Leave for Not-for-Profit Organisations in Victoria

General

Portable long service leave is a scheme in Victoria that recognises the nature of employment in sectors like community services, where workers often move between jobs without accruing significant benefits at any one organisation. This initiative ensures that employees in these sectors can accumulate long service leave benefits despite changing employers within the same industry.

What is Portable Long Service Leave?

Portable long service leave allows employees to carry forward their long service leave entitlements from one employer to another, provided they work within the same sector. This is particularly relevant in industries characterised by high mobility and contract-based work, such as the not-for-profit sector. In Victoria, the scheme covers sectors like community services, contract cleaning, and security.

 

Covered Employers

There are certain requirements under each industry for the PLSBS to apply to a particular employer. An overview is laid out below:

Community Services

Community services employers are non-profit entities employing workers to perform community service work, or for-profit entities that employ workers to perform community service work for people with a disability.

Employees must be under one of the following Awards:

  • the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010
  • the Children’s Services Award 2010
  • the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010
  • the Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2020
  • the Supported Employment Services Award 2020.

Contract Cleaning

Contract cleaning employers engage one or more workers to perform cleaning work for other people.

Cleaning work that is not covered by the Scheme includes:

  • cleaning of things that are mobile
  • removal of waste from commercial waste receptacles
  • cleaning and maintenance of grounds surrounding a building or house when this consists of gardening and the removal or alteration of vegetation
  • cleaning a building or house under construction.

Security

Security employers engage one or more workers to perform security activities for which they are licensed or registered under the Private Security Act 2004 (Vic). This includes both Class A and Class B Security Services.

Employers do not need to register if they are:

  • local, state, or federal government bodies
  • an entity that has a governing board appointed by a state or federal Act
  • another statutory body.

 

How It Works

Employees are entitled to long service leave after a period of continuous service in the industry, regardless of the number of employers they have had. In Victoria, the Portable Long Service Authority administers the scheme, and employers contribute a levy based on a percentage of each worker’s wages into a fund from which long service leave payments are made.

Employers are required to register with the Authority within 3 months of establishment as a new business. Registered employers submit quarterly returns through the employer portal.

When a quarterly return is lodged, an invoice will be issued to the business to pay the employer levy. The levy must be paid within 14 days.

 

Benefits for Not-for-Profit Organisations

Employee Attraction & Retention

By offering portable long service leave, not-for-profits can enhance their attractiveness as employers. This benefit can help retain skilled workers who might otherwise leave the sector in search of better long-term benefits.

Being registered with the Authority is seen by workers as an act of good will. As the Scheme is compulsory across the three sectors, there are no free riders. Whether you are a long term or short-term employer, you contribute equivalently and share the dividends of a highly productive workforce.

Workforce Stability

Consistent accumulation of long service leave can contribute to greater workforce stability. Employees are less likely to leave the sector altogether when they can retain their entitlements across different organisations.

Equitable Treatment

This scheme promotes fairness by ensuring that employees who dedicate their careers to the not-for-profit sector are not disadvantaged in terms of long service leave accrual.

 

Challenges and Considerations

While the scheme offers significant benefits, not-for-profit organisations must navigate its administrative aspects and financial implications. Understanding the levy requirements and managing contributions can be challenging, especially for smaller organisations with limited administrative resources.

 

How We Can Assist

At The Breakthrough Office, we understand the specific needs of not-for-profit organisations in Victoria navigating the portable long service leave scheme. Our services include:

Compliance Assistance

We can help your organisation comply with the requirements of the Portable Long Service Leave Act, ensuring timely and accurate levy contributions.

Budget Planning

Our experts can assist in planning for the financial impact of your contributions to the portable long service leave fund.

Employee Communications

We offer support in communicating the benefits and details of the scheme to your employees, fostering a transparent and supportive workplace culture.

 

Portable long service leave represents a significant advancement in recognising the unique contributions of not-for-profit sector workers in Victoria. For more information on how this can be implemented or supported within your organisation, reach out to us at The Breakthrough Office. Let us help you maximise the benefits of this scheme for your employees and your organisation as a whole.

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