Transferring, taking and cashing in long service leave in Queensland

Transferred employees

The Industrial Relations Act 2016 provides for accumulated long service leave entitlements to transfer from one employer to another (e.g. when a business changes hands and the new employer continues to employ existing staff).

A transferred employee is entitled to all long service leave accumulated for the total period of their employment - including long service leave accumulated with the previous employer. This provision is not negotiable.

Long service leave entitlements also transfer if an employee is dismissed at the time the business changes hands or within the preceding month and is then employed by the new employer within 3 months.

Taking long service leave

The taking of long service leave should be agreed between an employer and employee. Long service leave can be taken for any duration as agreed by the employer.

Where an agreement can't be reached, the employer can, with at least 3 months' written notice, require an employee to take at least 4 weeks long service leave.

Public holidays that fall within a period of long service leave

Long service leave is exclusive of public holidays. Therefore, during a period of long service leave, any public holidays falling on a day on which an employee ordinarily works must be added to the leave.

Long service leave and other leave entitlements

Long service leave will continue to accrue whilst an employee is on paid sick, annual or long service leave.

Enquiries regarding annual and sick leave entitlements for private sector employees should be directed to the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.

'Cashing in' long service leave

Long service leave can only be cashed-in if:

  • the award, enterprise agreement or certified agreement allows for cashing-in
  • or
  • the employee makes an application (Form 13) to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (the Commission) for an order. These applications may only be made for compassionate reasons or on the grounds of financial hardship and can only be made once the employee has qualified for a leave entitlement.

The Commission may make an order for the payment to be made only if satisfied the payment should be made on compassionate grounds or on the ground of financial hardship.

Applications must be made on the QIRC's approved form (Form 13).

Time and wages records to be kept on long service leave

As long service leave entitlements are based on continuous service it is important complete and accurate time and wages records are kept by the employer.

An employer is required to keep a record of the total number of ordinary hours worked by each casual employee from the start of the employee’s service worked out to and including 30 June each year.

It is recommended that a similar record is also kept for part-time employees.

This record must be kept for a period of 6 years following termination of employment.

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