What is Long Service Leave in Western Australia? (2020 Update)

Jul 24, 2020
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Written by Dominic Woolrych

In this series of posts we look at the concept of ‘Long Service Leave’ (LSL) within each respective State and Territory. Employment law itself is a mix of National and State legislation. Long Service Leave is one such area that is legislated by the States. If you’re thinking about what entitlements you have to Long Service Leave in Western Australia, this article will discuss what the legal requirements are.

What is Long Service Leave?

Long Service Leave (LSL) is a type of paid leave that full time, part time and casual employees can take. LSL becomes available after an employee has worked for an employee for a long period of time. The amount of time differs in each State. In Western Australia, an employee needs to be working for an employer for 10 years. Long service leave cannot be paid out whilst an employee is still working for their employer.

For a general overview of long service leave entitlements click here.

Western Australia

In Western Australia, Long Service Leave entitlements fall under the Long Service Leave Act 1958 (amended 4 July 2006) (‘the Act’). The Act outlines;

  • Entitlements equate to 8 ⅔  weeks of paid leave. This applies after having completed 10 years of continuous employment in the same business.
  • An additional 4 1/3 weeks of paid leave for every 5 year period after.

Similarly, after 7 years of departure pro rata entitlements also have to be paid out. As a result, employee’s who have completed 7 to 10 years of service will have the entirety of their employment calculated pro rata.

Further, employees who leave after 10 or more years will have their leave calculated from only the years completed.

If an employee takes unpaid parental leave or leave without pay, Long Service Leave will not accrue. In addition to this, it can accrue if workers compensation applies, specifically the first 15 working days.

Long Service Leave for casual employees

Long-term casual employees can take long service leave. A long-term casual is someone who has been employed for more than 12 months. Further, a casual employee can be paid out their long service leave entitlements where they are eligible and terminate their employment.

Taking leave

An employer and employee should discuss the appropriate time for an employee to take their Long Service Leave. Generally, when this leave falls due, an employee should take this leave as soon as is reasonably practical. Further, an employee should give at least 2 weeks notice of their intention to take leave. An employer cannot refuse a request for Long Service Leave if the entitlement has existed for 12 months or more.

Long Service Leave varies from State to State. It’s important to understand how your entitlements differ depending on what jurisdiction you’re employed in.

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