Comprehensive Guide to the Victorian Long Service Leave Act 2018
To quickly locate the information you are looking for within the Guide, click on a heading in the table of contents and you will jump directly to the related content section.
Entitlement to take LSL
Under the Victoria Long Service Leave Act 2018 (LSL Act 2018), an employee is eligible to take long service leave (LSL) after the completion of 7 years’ continuous employment with one employer.
An employee can request to take LSL at any time after becoming entitled to take the leave. Leave can be taken for any period of not less than 1 day at a time.
If an employee makes a request to take LSL, the employer must grant the leave as soon as practicable unless the employer has reasonable business grounds for refusing the request. The Definitions in section 3 of the LSL Act 2018 provide guidance on what is included in the meaning of ‘reasonable business grounds’.
Directing employees to take LSL
An employer may direct an employee to take LSL by giving at least 12 weeks’ written notice. If the employee does not want to take their leave at the time nominated by the employer, they can apply to the Industrial Division of the Magistrates’ Court for a decision about this dispute.
Taking LSL in advance
The employee and employer may agree on the leave being taken before an entitlement is actually due. If the employment is then terminated before LSL accrues, the employer may recover the amount of the leave taken in advance.
Taking LSL at half pay
An employee can request to take a period of LSL for twice as long as the period to which they are entitled, at half their ordinary pay.
If an employee makes a request to take their LSL in this way, the employer must grant the request unless the employer has 'reasonable business grounds' for refusing the request.
On the other hand, an employee cannot take half of their leave entitlement at double the rate of pay. See ‘Cashing out LSL prohibited’ below.
Example – Jane has accrued leave
Jane has 13 weeks accrued leave and can request to take a 26 week break at half pay. However, Jane isn't permitted to take half the leave at double pay.
Cashing out LSL prohibited
An employee cannot 'cash out' their LSL.
It is an offence under the LSL Act 2018 to give or receive payment instead of the employee actually taking the break from work.
An employee can only receive payment instead of taking LSL if their employment ends before the leave is actually taken.
The penalty for this offence is 12 penalty units for a natural person and 60 penalty units for body corporate. If an employer or employee is found guilty of this offence, a criminal conviction may also be recorded.
Get help with long service leave
If you own, are looking to purchase, or start a small business with under 20 employees, you may be eligible for our Long Service Leave Small Business Information Service (LSLSBIS).
LSLSBIS offers one-on-one information and advice regarding your responsibilities under Victoria's LSL Act 2018.
Phone or email us for more information
Wage Inspectorate Victoria is responsible for regulating long service leave in Victoria.
We welcome any feedback, comments and suggestions you might like to share.
You also have the option to make an anonymous report if you suspect someone is breaking the rules relating to long service leave but you don’t want to provide personal information.