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Long Service Benefits Portability Scheme – new regulations published

Libby Pallot, Walter MacCallum, Anthony Massaro, Ben Tallboys, Abbey Burns and Caitlin Walsh

The Long Service Benefits Portability Regulations 2019 have been published, just in time for commencement of the Long Service Benefits Portability Scheme on Monday, 1 July 2019.

Under the Scheme, employees in the community services sector, contract cleaning industry and security industry will accumulate long service benefits, regardless of whether they move from employer to employer within that industry. Employers covered by the Scheme will be required to register with the Long Service Benefits Authority, and pay a levy. For more background on the Scheme, see our previous alerts about what community service employers need to know, and the act generally.

After a brief consultation process, the final version of the Regulations were published on 26 June 2019 (available here). Amongst other things, the Regulations:

  • Bring NDIS-funded services and licensed children’s services into the Scheme, commencing from 1 January 2020.
  • Provide a broader definition of ‘community services work’, and list certain excluded employers and employees.
  • Tighten up some aspects of the ‘double dipping’ provisions, allowing employers in the community services sector to be reimbursed for levies paid where an employee claims a long service leave benefit under a Fair Work instrument (such as an enterprise agreement).
  • Include a ‘predominance test’, to help determine whether community services sector employers and employees who do multiple types of work fall within the Scheme.

Nonetheless, there remains some uncertainty about how the Scheme will apply and operate in practice, particularly within the disability and community services sectors, where many organisations are likely to have some employees falling within the scheme, and some falling outside it.

If you need assistance understanding how the Scheme applies to your business, or if you are uncertain as to which categories of your employees are covered, please contact the Russell Kennedy Workplace Relations, Employment and Safety team.

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