25 November, 2010
The operation of portable long service in the Building and Construction Industry created the equivalent of sixty three years of work and injected an additional $3.2 million into the Tasmanian economy.
Sixty three years is the combined amount of long service leave taken by the 467 industry employees who took advantage of the Industry's portable long service scheme in the year to 30 October 2010. The Construction Industry's portable long service scheme is unique in the local industrial scene and without it these 467 employees would not have been able to enjoy the many benefits this leave provides. No other industry sector enjoys the many benefits portable long service offers employees and employers in Tasmania.
Portable long service allows an employee to accrue their long service for the time they are employed in the industry, not necessarily with an individual employer, which is a feature of most long service schemes. This very important difference was introduced in acknowledgement of the itinerant nature of employment in the Construction Industry and the benefits for both employees and employers, where an employee is able to take extended leave from the workplace.
Secondary benefits for employment opportunities and the economy should also not be underestimated. The number of employees taking their leave and the amount of leave they are taking will provide jobs for an additional 63 employees for a year or 21 employees for three years. The $3.2 million of entitlements paid to employees provides additional stimulation to the economy generally.
The employment profiles and tenures of employees within the Construction Industry are not unique. Cleaners, aged carers, child carers, community sector, security and hospitality industry employers all share a similar lack of long term employment opportunities with a single employer and no opportunity to access what other employees take for granted, long service leave.
It is time for these sectors to acknowledge the benefits available to both employees and employers where long service leave is taken by an employee. It has been proven through studies that where long term employees are able to take extended leave to re-charge their batteries it results in them becoming reinvigorated which increases their productivity and efficiency when they return to work.