Portable Long Service
What is portable long service?
People who are employed in the construction industry can count broken service with different employers to establish a long service entitlement.
How does the portable long service work?
Employers report service and make contributions to a central fund which is managed by the Trustee, TasBuild.
The rate to fund a worker’s long service is approximately 2.5% of an ordinary weekly wage, including applicable allowances, thereby accruing 13 weeks after 10 years. Employers benefit from a 28% reduction, if they lodge returns and pay contributions on time paying 1.8% instead of 2.5% of an ordinary weekly wage.
How many times can a worker change employers?
It does not matter how many times a worker changes employer, as long as the worker remains in relevant employment in the construction industry. Any period of more than one day’s duration is counted towards a long service entitlement.
Does work in another state or territory count?
Please refer to Can Service Be Transferred Interstate?
The 4 Year Rule
Workers can be absent from the construction industry for a period of up to 4 years without losing the service they have accrued.
When am I eligible?
An entitlement is based on recorded service and not calendar years. When workers accrue 2,600 days service, a maximum of 260 working days per year, they have reached a long service entitlement.
Pro-rata long service entitlements are provided in certain circumstances on completion of 1,820 days (that is 7 years of service).
How many days a year does a worker have to work?
260 days equals a full year’s service (48 weeks of 5 working days, including sick leave plus 4 weeks paid annual leave). A worker’s service is based on days worked, not calendar years. Paid annual leave and sick leave are counted.
Who keeps a record of the days worked?
TasBuild maintain a centralised data base with records of days accrued. Workers are encouraged to access their online account by registering with TasBuild.
Does the worker pay any fees?
There are no administration fees for workers and TasBuild offers a heavily subsidised contribution rate for employers by managing the Fund as the appointed Trustee.
Money is held in a central Fund which is invested, thus enabling the Trustee to offer a heavily subsidised contribution rate to employers within the industry.
What happens to employer contributions if a worker;
- moves interstate
- leaves the industry without gaining an entitlement to long service
- loses their service due to being absent from the industry for 4 years without contributions being paid?
Moves interstate – Long Service Schemes operate in all states and territories and the portability not only applies between employers within Tasmania but also between states. A worker who leaves Tasmania and continues working in the industry will continue to accrue service towards an entitlement. Contributions paid by an employer in one state may be used to fund the worker’s long service.
Leaves the industry – If a worker leaves the industry without gaining an entitlement, their service is removed from the record, as such the Funds liability is decreased in relation to this worker. The frequency of lost service is not high due to the generous pro rata provisions that apply, however where this does occur, it is taken into account when determining the appropriate level of employer contributions. This is in part why we are able to discount the actual contribution cost from 2.5 percent to 1.8 percent (a 28 percent discount) for employers complying with return lodgement and payment time frames.
Absent from the industry – The same applies (see ‘leaves the industry’) when a worker has not had contributions paid on their behalf for over 4 Years.
Self employed – It is sometimes the case that a worker becomes “self employed”. In these circumstances the worker is able to add to their employer service record by registering themselves with TasBuild and making contributions for themselves. They are able to continue to accrue service towards a long service entitlement.
What is the ‘Construction Industry’?
The ‘construction industry’ is any industry described in the relevant sections of Division C and all of Division E of the Australian, New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) Code. The ANZSIC codes can be viewed at the offices of TasBuild or online by following the links.
The industry of “Ship Building” which was covered by the old Act, was excluded from 1 July 1998.
Maintenance of plant and equipment when carried out by an employer not in the construction industry, is also excluded.
The definition of a worker has been extended to include self-employed workers where the contract is wholly or substantially for the labour of the person, group training companies and labour hire agencies, provided the work is in the construction industry.