Thursday, May 30, 2024

Improved long service leave for WA local government

Around 23,000 local government employees in Western Australia are set to benefit from clearer long service leave entitlements with the State Government this week introducing new regulations that will provide clarity and certainty.

Part of the State Government’s overall local government reform agenda, the regulations aim to improve the operation and strength of the sector’s long service leave portability scheme.

This means that when staff change employment from one local government to another, their previous service continues to count towards their long service leave entitlements, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries said in a statement.

The new regulations, which come into effect on 1 September 2024, introduce a raft of improvements including:

  • a longer permitted period of break between local government sector employers that maintains the employee’s continuity of service;
  • allowing for parental leave pay from the Australian Government to count towards long service leave accrual;
  • allowing advanced long service leave and the cashing out of long service leave;
  • clear protections for the entitlements in the event of unfair or unlawful dismissal.

These changes will also bring specific benefits for employees who have worked casually or part-time or who have moved between employers, which is especially important for women and younger people who work in the local government sector, the Department said.

The previous regulations and corresponding industrial relations scheme had not been substantially updated since their introduction in 1977.

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