Long Service Leave

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 award, enterprise 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.