ACT Government updates

Workers to benefit from early access to portable long service leave

May 20, 2020

As part of the ACT Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, eligible Canberra workers who have had their employment affected or need to take COVID-19 related leave will be able to access their Portable Long Service Leave early.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Suzanne Orr, said this will allow workers to directly access necessary support to help them through this difficult time.

“The ACT Government is committed to providing the necessary support for those that need it during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Orr said.

“These changes to the ACT’s Portable Long Service Leave scheme will provide much needed support to Canberra workers in building and construction, contract cleaning, the community sector and security.

“We know that giving these workers the option to access their leave entitlement early will assist those who may not have other options to rely on.

“As a result of the ACT’s Portable Long Service Leave scheme providing the most comprehensive industry coverage in Australia, the ACT Government is able to support these essential workers who contribute to the wellbeing of our community and economy.”

Recent amendments to the Long Service Leave (Portable Schemes) Act 2009 temporarily allow:

  • eligible workers to access up to two weeks of leave earlier than is allowed under current legislation; and
  • eligible workers who have left the industry because of the COVID-19 outbreak to access a payment instead of leave for their recognised service.

A registered worker will be eligible for early access to their Portable Long Service leave if:

  • the registered worker has 18 months or more recognised service in the ACT; and
  • the registered worker has recognised service in their relevant industry in the ACT in the 12 months immediately before the COVID-19 emergency; and
  • the registered worker suffers hardship because of the COVID‑19 emergency.

The eligibility and amendments have been finalised in consultation with the ACT Long Service Leave Authority and employee and employer representatives.