The Palaszczuk Government has passed legislation to introduce a portable long service leave scheme for workers in the community services industry.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the scheme recognises the nature of work, and the commitment of workers within the industry.
“This is a win for the 45,000 people who work in this industry which provides valuable care and services to many vulnerable and less fortunate Queenslanders,” Ms Grace said.
“Under previous arrangements, a worker who has dedicated themselves to this industry for 10 years working in five different organisations, is not eligible for long service leave until they have a decade of continuous service with the one employer.
“The scheme provides long service leave entitlements for service in the industry, rather than for service with a single employer.”
Ms Grace said the scheme would not only benefit workers but the industry as a whole.
“Without this scheme, many workers in the community services industry will continue to miss out on long service leave, even though many devote much of their working lives to providing these critical services to some of our most vulnerable Queenslanders,” she said.
“Under our scheme, there’s also more incentive for highly skilled, experienced and qualified workers to remain in the community services sector instead of looking for employment in other industries.
“This extra retention of workers in the industry will reduce recruitment and training costs for employers.
“That’s why it’s so disappointing that the LNP and the Greens voted against this historic Bill in Parliament, purely to score a cheap political point.”
Ms Grace paid tribute to the way the sector has worked together to make this scheme a reality.
“I thank all the stakeholders for their valuable contribution to its development,” she said.
“An extensive consultation process with the sector demonstrated broad support for this scheme, with both employers and workers saying it would attract and retain workers.”
The scheme, which is expected to start later this year, will cover workers from non-government organisations that provide community services.
The scheme works by employers registering and providing a ‘return’ to QLeave about the service and earnings of the workers covered by the scheme for each return period, then paying a levy based on the earnings reported.
The levy rate is proposed to be 1.35 per cent of a worker’s gross ordinary wage, lower than the 1.67 per cent average employers currently have to make provision for and will be subject to review at least every two years.
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace