Achieve business success through growing a high-performing team

Long Service Leave changes are here to stay

Back in 2020, most of Australia was in lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those that could, performed their job from home working remotely.


The NSW Parliament introduced temporary amendments to the Long Services Leave Act to allow greater flexibility for long service leave (LSL) to be used during the pandemic. The changes allowed employees to take LSL in shorter blocks, such as one day a week, and without the traditional one-month notice period.


Back then, the flexibility was very important during a time when businesses are looking at every option to maintain a workforce during a disruptive time.


This legislation was only temporary, and was due to end 31 March 2022. But on 22 March 2022 the NSW Government made these changes permanent.


It is specifically named the ‘COVID-19 and Other Legislation Amendment (Regulatory Reforms) Bill 2022’.


Let’s take a closer look at the changes:


It doesn’t have to be taken all at once

Previously, LSL was taken in one continuous period, unless you agreed to 2 separate periods of at least 1 month in a period.


Now, LSL can be taken in 2 or more separate periods of not less than 1 day if you agree to it.


This opens it up to a variety of different combinations of taking the leave. LSL cannot be taken in hourly increments, but your employee can opt to take it as little as a day at a time.


So, it may look like any of these:

  • 1 week of LSL in July, 1 week in August and 6 weeks over Christmas period
  • 1 month of LSL now and the other 1 month of LSL in 6 months time
  • 2 days LSL every week for 20 weeks
  • Or many other different combinations too


Minimal notice is okay

Because LSL can be a significant amount of time, you would expect to need a fair amount of notice from your employee if they plan to use LSL. But under these new changes, there is flexibility for you to agree with your employee on less than 1 month’s notice if that works for you.




It can be taken in advance

An employee becomes entitled to LSL upon the 10-year anniversary of their start date, and every 5 years after that. Previously any LSL taken in advance of the employee becoming entitled to it, had to be taken in periods of not less than 1 month.


Now, LSL to be taken in advance in periods of not less than 1 day if you agree.


It’s also important to note there is provision in the legislation for you to deduct the value of any LSL paid in advance if your employee is terminated before the date of entitlement occurs.


These changes are intended to benefit employers in the form of increased productivity and lower absenteeism rates associated with workers being able to work more flexibly, and benefits to workers in being able to take long service leave in a form that best suits their needs.


What this means for your business….

  • If you have a leave policy or reference leave entitlements in employment contracts, time to update them to reflect the new legislation
  • Consider what you will do if
  • As always, don’t forget to talk with your employee about these changes and how it impacts them


All other parts of LSL legislation remains the same.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *