Australia urged to consider relevancy of long-service leave

In line with the current challenge of attracting and retaining the best talent, employers should consider strategies that address employees’ current needs.
By: | November 28, 2022

Employees in Australia are entitled to long-service leave under the National Employment Standards.  The details vary depending on state law and industrial instruments, such as an award or agreement, but it is designed to reward people with paid leave who have worked between seven to 15 years continuously with the same employer. 

Some states like Victoria have a new portable long-service leave scheme for workers in community services, contract cleaning and security, which means they can accrue long-service entitlements and transfer them from job to job. 

Victoria Mills, who has been a workplace coach for 20 years and founded the Australian start-up Hello Coach, believes the concept of long-service leave is outdated. She said, “While it may have worked as an incentive for previous generations, long-term loyalty for employees is quickly becoming a thing of the past.”

“Australian executives would be better off spending their money on strategies to retain staff in the here and now rather than expecting that a payment in a decade’s time is going to incentivise staff to stay.”

READ: Employees in Australia failing to achieve work-life balance

Speaking to, Mills emphasised that while employees need to continue to be protected under government schemes, employment structures and protections need to change in step with society.

Employers who continue to face the challenge of attracting and retaining talent, she suggested, should consider mandatory entitlements for employee benefits in the ‘now’, including more upfront bonus structures, as well as education and wellness programmes.