Long service leave - What are the rules about taking long service leave?

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This page outlines the rules and requirements about taking long service leave under the WA Long Service Leave Act.

Visit the main Long Service Leave page for links to other information on long service leave in Western Australia including who is covered by the WA Long Service Leave Act.

Granting and taking of long service leave 

An employer cannot direct an employee who is covered by the Long Service Leave Act to take long service leave at a particular time.

Long service leave must be granted and taken as soon as reasonably practicable after it becomes due.

The employee and the employer may agree when the employee will take long service leave.

Where an employer and employee have not agreed on when the employee is to take leave, the employer cannot refuse the employee taking any period of leave to which they became entitled more than 12 months before. This leave can be taken at any time that is suitable to the employee. The employee must, however, give the employer at least 2 weeks’ notice of the period during which they intend taking leave.

Periods of long service leave

Long service leave is to be taken in one continuous period, or if the employer and employee agree, can be taken in separate periods.

A casual or seasonal employee is entitled to take long service leave in the same manner as a full time or part time employee. During a period of paid leave, a casual or seasonal employee would not be able to be rostered or called into work.

An employee may also request that an employer grant them:

  • A period of long service leave on half pay. For example, an employee who is entitled to 8 weeks’ long service leave may request that they take 16 weeks of leave at half pay; or
  • A period of long service leave on double pay. For example, an employee who is entitled to 8 weeks’ long service leave may request that they be granted 4 weeks of leave at double pay.

An employer is not obligated to agree to a request to take long service leave in a flexible manner.

Postponing long service leave

An employer and employee may agree to postpone a period of long service leave to suit the convenience of the employee. If long service leave is deferred to suit the employee, the employee and employer should agree on whether the leave will be paid at the employee’s rate of pay when the leave was accrued or at the employee’s rate of pay when the leave is taken. It is best to put this in writing. 

Long service leave in advance

An employee can make a request and if the employer agrees, can reach an agreement to take long service leave in advance. An employee who enters into this agreement is not entitled to additional long service leave until they have accrued back the amount they were given in advance. 

If an employee leaves or if their services are terminated before they have accrued their long service leave the employer may deduct from their final pay the amount that represents payment for any period for which the employee has been granted long service leave in advance. 

Public holidays during periods of long service leave

If:

  • a public holiday occurs during a period of long service leave taken by an employee; and
  • the employee is otherwise entitled to that holiday under the employee's conditions of employment,

the period of long service leave is increased by one day for each such public holiday.

Working in another job while on long service leave

Employees accessing long service leave cannot engage in paid employment in substitution for any employment from which they are taking long service leave. If an employee does work, this may result in the employee forfeiting their right to long service leave, enabling the employer to withhold any further leave payments and to reclaim any wages paid for the period of long service leave already taken.

Where an employee has two or more jobs and is accessing long service leave for one of those jobs, generally the employee may continue working in their other job or jobs while on long service leave, as this employment is not in substitution for the job for which they are taking long service leave.

 

 

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