Long service leave - Taking long service leave

This page is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer
  • Under the WA Long Service Leave Act, when an employee completes 10 years of continuous employment, they are entitled to take 8.667 weeks of paid long service leave. 
  • An employee is entitled to take another 4.333 weeks of paid long service leave for every further 5 years of continuous employment.
  • This entitlement applies to full time, part time and casual employees.
  • The term continuous employment has a specific meaning and may include service with a previous employer where there has been a change of business ownership.

You can check the coverage of the Long Service Leave Act on the Long service leave – Who is covered by the Long Service Leave Act? page and find links to other information on our main Long service leave page.

Long service leave can be taken after 10 years continuous employment

When a full time, part time or casual employee completes 10 years of continuous employment, they fully accrue a long service leave entitlement of 8.667 weeks of paid long service leave. An employee will then accrue another 4.333 weeks of long service leave for every 5 years of continuous employment.

Length of continuous employment Long service leave an employee can take
At least 10 years, less than 15 years 8.667 weeks long service leave
At least 15 years, less than 20 years 4.333 weeks, plus any of the previous long service leave entitlement not yet taken 
At least 20 years, less than 25 years 4.333 weeks, plus any of the previous long service leave entitlement not yet taken

Continuous employment

When a full time, part time or casual employee completes 10 years of continuous employment, they fully accrue a long service leave entitlement of 8.667 weeks of long service leave.

An employee will accrue a further 4.333 weeks of long service leave for every 5 years of continuous employment they complete after the initial 10 years.

The term continuous employment has a specific meaning and some absences do not count towards an employee’s period of continuous employment. Continuous employment may include service with a previous employer where there has been a change of business ownership. You can get details about continuous employment on the Long service leave – What is continuous employment? page, and learn about changes of business ownership on the Long service leave – what happens when business ownership changes? page.

What employees get paid when they take long service leave

An employee must receive their ordinary pay when taking long service leave. Ordinary pay is based on the employee’s ‘normal weekly number of hours of work’ and is calculated using their ordinary rate of pay at the time the long service leave is taken. For casual employees, an employee’s ordinary pay includes any casual loading.

Visit Long service leave – what do employees get paid? for more details on payment when taking long service leave.

Cashing out long service leave

An employer and employee may agree to cash out some or all of a long service leave entitlement once the employee has completed the required period of continuous employment and is entitled to take the long service leave. Visit the Long service leave – cashing out long service leave page for the requirements for cashing out long service leave.

Granting and taking of long service leave 

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

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

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.

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. 

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.

 

 

Last modified: