Simon Corbell is sounding the alarm that the hare-brained scheme to give long service leave to people performing no long service is about to run out of money as construction workers fall back on it.
To “fix” this he’s bumping up the employer levy:
The ACT Government has agreed to increase the levy for the portable Long Service Leave Scheme for workers in the building and construction industry to help protect their entitlements, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Simon Corbell, announced today.
“From 1 October 2013, the employer levy will increase from 1.75% to 2.5%,” Mr Corbell said.
“The decision to increase the levy was not taken lightly and was based on independent actuarial advice.
“It’s important to increase the employer paid levy to ensure that the Long Service Leave Scheme can cope with demand in the event of a downturn in construction activity in Canberra, when more workers may need to access their entitlements.
“This in turn will protect the long term viability of the local industry, by allowing skilled workers to remain in Canberra supporting our city’s economy, rather than seeking work outside of the Territory.”
Mr Corbell acknowledged that while the increase in the levy may result in a flow on cost to consumers, it should be minimal.
“When the impact of the levy increase is spread across all of the projects of a construction company, the cost increase per project will be minor,” he said.
“There are 1600 employers registered in the portable Long Service Leave Scheme – 900 of those companies employ four or less workers. The average cost of the increased levy to them will be about $40 a fortnight per employee.”
UPDATE: The Oracular Mark Colvin has tweeted a much appreciated correction to my grammar.