Long Service Leave In The Northern Territory (2022 Update)

Feb 10, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Written by Dominic Woolrych

Long Service Leave (LSL) is a type of paid leave you become entitled to after working for your employer for a certain period of time. In many cases, LSL only activates after you have been with your employer for 10 years. However, laws surrounding LSL vary throughout each State and Territory. In this article, we’ll look at Long Service Leave in the Northern Territory.

For an overview of Long Service Leave entitlements generally click here.

Long Service Leave in the Northern Territory (NT)

Long Service Leave in the Northern Territory (aside from government employees and those subject to the NT Build portable long service scheme) is governed by the Long Service Leave Act 1981 (NT). This states: 

  • An employee becomes entitled to LSL once they have completed 10 years of continuous service at their employer.
  • LSL still accrues if ownership of the business you work for changes
  • The amount of leave is calculated as being 1.3 weeks for each year completed. For example, you will be entitled to 13 weeks’ LSL once you have been with your employer for 10 years.
  • Casual employees can also accrue LSL
  • You will be paid at your ordinary rate of pay whilst on LSL

However, there are circumstances where LSL entitlements will not accrue. This includes:

  • Taking any form of unpaid leave
  • Partially completed years of service
  • Leave taken for worker’s compensation


You’ve been working for your employer for 15 years. However, you took unpaid leave for a period of 8 months to look after your child in 2017. This time taken will not be counted towards your LSL entitlements. This means that you will only have accrued LSL for 14 years and 4 months of service. 

When can LSL be taken?

The time at which an employee can take LSL is usually agreed between the employer and employee. However, an employer must give at least 2 months’ notice if they are to request that LSL be taken at a particular time. 

LSL can all be taken at one time, or in shorter stints (in no more than 3 periods of time). Public holidays and weekends are not excluded from your LSL, meaning that you can extend your time off to account for these days. 

Having your leave paid out

If you are entitled to LSL and have resigned or been terminated, you may be able to have your LSL paid out. However, you cannot have been terminated for serious misconduct or be below retirement age. You may also be able to have your LSL paid out if there is a medical or health-related reason preventing you from being able to work.

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