The viability of ‘portable’ long service leave in industries other than construction was studied as part of a year-long investigation by a parliamentary committee. The question has proponents on both sides of its argument, with unions claiming workers are being “short changed” with leave due to the transient and casual nature of much employment today. Some businesses, on the other hand, believe a candidate’s portable leave would be a major deterrent for employers.
The committee made a number of recommendations, including further study into whether it is feasible for portable service leave to be given to people who work in the same industry for 10 years, but cannot access leave entitlements due to the contract nature of their work.
"The committee heard from workers who have worked in the same job for over 10, sometimes 20, years and have never been able to take long service leave," said Nazih Elasmar, chairman of the parliamentary committee.
"Contract cleaners and security guards have a new employer each time service contracts change hands... When this occurs, their long service leave accruals are lost and they have to start again from scratch."
Portable long service leave is already available in the construction industry in Victoria and indeed in other states in industries such as contract cleaning and community services.
A landmark inquiry in Victoria has opened up the possibility of employees being able to take long service leave from one job to the next in professions where a worker’s employer changes frequently due to the nature of service contracts, such as cleaners and security guards.