NSW passes laws to change long service leave access to support during COVID 19

NSW passes laws to change long service leave access to support during COVID 19

by Freya Lucas

March 27, 2020

The NSW Parliament passed changes to long service leave earlier this week, which will create greater flexibility for employers and employees to access leave during the COVID-19 crisis. 


Amendments to the Long Services Leave Act 1955 will allow employees to take leave in shorter blocks, such as one day a week, and without the traditional one-month notice period, by agreement with their employer.


The changes were introduced to Parliament by the NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, who said the flexibility was “very important during a time when businesses are looking at every option to keep staff on their books.”


Key legislative amendments include:

  • waiving the one-month notice period for taking leave (by mutual agreement between employee and employer)
  • greater flexibility for employees to take this leave in shorter blocks if they wish (rather than traditional monthly blocks).


Both the employer and employee must agree to using leave in this way, with Mr  Perrottet saying the changes offer another way for businesses to maintain their workforce during what is predicted to be “an extended period of disruption.”


“We expect this to be an option which will help people get through the next few months and effectively put money in their weekly budgets.” 


The legislation will have effect for six months from 25 March with the possibility of an extension to one year.


To learn more about the changes, please see here.