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Long Service Leave | Know Your Long Service Leave Entitlements

Employees are entitled to long service leave after an extended period of service with an employer. In some states and territories, you may also be entitled to long service leave even if you change employers or are a casual worker. 

This entitlement forms part of the National Employment Standards (NES). There is no uniform long service standard in Australia yet. Each state and territory have different standards for:

  • How long you need to work to get long service leave
  • How much leave you get will on the long service leave

Long service leave entitlements will depend on the laws in your state and territory, or your awardenterprise agreement or other registered agreement. Depending on your entitlements you may be able to:

  • Access long service leave after a period of continuous service of 7-15 years
  • Request a period of long service leave for twice as long, at half your ordinary pay rate
  • Access part of your long service leave at different points instead of all at once

In most cases, the employee and employer must agree in writing when the leave will be taken and for how long.

You can contact your union for advice on your long service entitlements. Or contact the long service leave agency in your state or territory to check your entitlements:

Pre-modern awards and long service leave

A pre-modern award is any employment award that existed before 1 January 2010. State and territory long service entitlements do not apply if your employment is under a pre-modern award.

Federal pre-modern awards will include long service leave entitlements, including how long an employee needs to work to get the leave and how much they will get.

To find your long service leave entitlements under a pre-modern award, you can search the Fair Work Commission Award database.

In some instances, a pre-modern award might not apply if another agreement is in place, such as an enterprise agreement or other registered agreement.

Your union can give you advice on your long service leave entitlements.

Funding for this factsheet was provided by:

  • the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project; and
  • the Fair Work Ombudsman. 

Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you calculate long service leave in SA?

Long service leave is a period of time that you can take off work. You’ll be eligible for paid leave after 10 years of work with your current employer. You’ll be eligible for further paid leave after each additional period of five years of work with the same employer.

To calculate long service leave, multiply the number of weeks you’ve been employed by your employer by 2.92. Then deduct any annual leave that you’ve already taken and multiply this amount by your hourly rate of pay.

Can casual employees get long service leave entitlements in NSW?

Yes, in Australia, the Long Service Leave Act 1955 provides leave entitlements to full-time, part-time and casual workers. If you have worked for the same employers for over 10 years then you can claim 2 months paid long service leave.

The Long Service Leave Act also allows for a pro-rata entitlement after five years. This circumstance can be used in the case of illness, incapacity or domestic issues or other pressing circumstances.

Special long service leave conditions may apply to casual workers in the building and construction industry and cleaning contractors.

Who is eligible for long service leave entitlements in NSW?

Most full-time, part-time and casual employees in NSW are entitled to long service leave. If you’ve worked for the same employer for 10 years or more, then you’re entitled to 2 months of paid leave.

You are entitled to receive your ordinary gross wage during this period. Your pay should be made at the standard rate and frequency and your employer will need to pay super on this amount.

When are you entitled to long service leave in NSW?

Workers can access long service leave entitlements in NSW after 10 years of continuous work with the same employer. This allows the employee to take 2 months (8.67 weeks) at the standard wage rate.

The Long Service Leave Act 1955 was created to ensure workers receive these entitlements. It has been temporarily amended until 31 March 2022 to include the ability for employers to agree for employees to take long service leave in smaller amounts, such as 1-2 days a week over a longer period of time.

In NSW, most full-time, part-time and casual employees are entitled to Long Service Leave entitlements after 10 years of employment. If a worker is entitled to long service leave, then employers are only allowed to deny a legitimate request if it will have a negative impact on the business.

Do casual employees get long service leave entitlements in NSW?

Yes, casual employees are entitled to long service leave entitlements in NSW if they’ve worked for the same employer for 10 years or more.

Casuals often don’t get paid days off, even if they work for the same employer for a long time. For this reason, casuals should expect an hourly rate that’s higher than full-time employees. But in some states, long-serving casuals can also be eligible for long service leave.

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