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Lollipops for everyone as long service leave portability comes to the security industry

By johnboy - 8 May 2012 10

The Greens are celebrating a crime against the english language as security guards can now get long service leave even when they don’t perform long service.

I know it’s been extended to other sectors before now as everyone puts their hands up.

“This is another debate that has flushed out the Canberra Liberals’ inaction on helping individuals and families who are doing it tough. Canberra security workers have minimal entitlements and often struggle to make ends meet.

“The Liberals opposed this long service leave entitlement, taking the side of big security companies over some of Canberra’s lowest paid workers.

“While the Government delays the scheme, and the Liberals oppose anything that will improve workers’ rights, the ACT Greens continue to push for better conditions for Canberra workers and their families,” Ms Bresnan said.

The idea that somehow working in the same general line of work while shifting employers is somehow more worthy than those who take time off to study, or change careers entirely, is as alien to me as – I can only suppose – the idea that changing employers means there has not in fact been long service is to career bureaucrats shifting departments while retaining benefits.

Anyway, good news in the short term for security workers. bad news for the users of these services which will have to pay more in the long term.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Lollipops for everyone as long service leave portability comes to the security industry
Tetranitrate 9:36 am 10 May 12

devils_advocate said :

thehutch said :

In my role, it would have been impossible for me to gain long service leave as my employer changed 3 times in 10 years even though I continued to do the same work at the same location. This is a situation repeated all over the contracted service based industries.

Markets have a way of pricing these things into the equation. Contract based employees choose to engage in those roles. They know (or should know) the terms of service going in. The lack of LSL portability is priced into the wage offered by the employer.

The OP mentioned the likelihood that service providers will have to increase their price. But in a competitive market (we don’t know how competitive it is), it’s not always possible to increase prices. So they might have to reduce wages to contractors. Or some combination of the two.

1. Most of the employees aren’t contractors, and if they are it’s usually a case of sham-contracting. It’s the companies themselves that take contracts.

2. “But in a competitive market it’s not always possible” – It pretty much is always possible if the cost is being imposed on every player in the industry. The wages paid by most non-scumbag employers in security, cleaning or related industries are just going to be the award rate anyway. Nobody is being paid a ‘premium’ for the lack of long service leave in a meatgrinder industry like this.

3. Even with portability, I doubt that many people would end up being eligible anyway – the turnover of employees in security (and cleaning) is ridiculous, I’d expect the vast majority of people wouldn’t even be in the industry for long enough to be eligible for long service leave, regardless of how many employers they were with.

‘thehutch’ is dead right – you could have the same guy working in exactly the same role at the front desk of a government department for 15 years, and in that time “change employer” 4 or 5 times.

thehutch 8:56 am 10 May 12

IrishPete said :

LSL doesn’t add up to anything if you change employers before you get it (I don’t think you get it “paid out” when you leave a job).

Portability is fine in principle, but often doesn’t occur in practice, even between different governments (Feds and State/Territories). I’ve worked in Oz for over 14 years, my first Oz job being in WA where you get LSL after 7 years, and I haven’t had any LSL yet. So it hasn’t worked too well for me, and I DO travel back to the Mother Country to visit family!

Surely it would be simpler to give us all the extra week or so a year, and if we choose to save it up for 10 years (or 7 in WA), allow us to.

There are employment traditions in some countries that don’t apply in others, such as I think a 13th monthly pay in Italy at Christmas time. So rather than copy someone else, let’s design our own the way we want it. LSL dates from the colonial period and can be replaced now. (Oh, sorry, we’re still a British colony…)

It’s rare that I agree with the Liberals on anything, so youze can all cherish this moment.

IP (also worked in the UK before coming here)

I’d happily take an extra week’s leave per year to forgo LSL, but I suggest this would cost business more than LSL does.

Portability definately occurs between the ACT & Fed Governments… I also know someone who worked for the VIC gov, came and worked at the ACT Gov and returned after 3 years to the VIC Gov whilst maintaining entitlements.

My understanding is that LSL is paid out after 5 years if you leave the employer.

My understanding is that you can take pro-rata LSL after 7 years in the ACT.

IrishPete 8:13 pm 09 May 12

LSL doesn’t add up to anything if you change employers before you get it (I don’t think you get it “paid out” when you leave a job).

Portability is fine in principle, but often doesn’t occur in practice, even between different governments (Feds and State/Territories). I’ve worked in Oz for over 14 years, my first Oz job being in WA where you get LSL after 7 years, and I haven’t had any LSL yet. So it hasn’t worked too well for me, and I DO travel back to the Mother Country to visit family!

Surely it would be simpler to give us all the extra week or so a year, and if we choose to save it up for 10 years (or 7 in WA), allow us to.

There are employment traditions in some countries that don’t apply in others, such as I think a 13th monthly pay in Italy at Christmas time. So rather than copy someone else, let’s design our own the way we want it. LSL dates from the colonial period and can be replaced now. (Oh, sorry, we’re still a British colony…)

It’s rare that I agree with the Liberals on anything, so youze can all cherish this moment.

IP (also worked in the UK before coming here)

thehutch 7:29 pm 09 May 12

Correction I meant to say – “but for different company C instead of company B”

thehutch 7:27 pm 09 May 12

Markets have a way of pricing these things into the equation. Contract based employees choose to engage in those roles. They know (or should know) the terms of service going in. The lack of LSL portability is priced into the wage offered by the employer.

The OP mentioned the likelihood that service providers will have to increase their price. But in a competitive market (we don’t know how competitive it is), it’s not always possible to increase prices. So they might have to reduce wages to contractors. Or some combination of the two.

Yeah you are thinking that employees are contractors, this is not the case. Employees are employed as per the award. Contract based industries was a reference to company A hiring company B to provide a service to their building (cleaning, security). The employee is employed by company B. Company B loses contract after 3 years and company C takes over contract and most employees. Employee continues to perform same job at company A’s location, but for different company C instead of company C.

The employees are not contractors and hence this not factored into the equation.

toriness 1:58 pm 09 May 12

in fact 2 weeks a year over 10 years is 20 weeks/5 months which is way more than the 3 months/90 calendar days of lsl!!

toriness 1:56 pm 09 May 12

Madam Cholet said :

Being from the UK I had never heard of long service leave before coming to live here almost 20 years ago. I am not unsupportive of the concept in general, but have to ask, really, is it something that should be phased out? Considering the origins of this enttlement, should it not be phased out or changed to better reflect the fact that today you can jump pn a plane and visit the “mother country”, it’s no longer going to take you 12 weeks to get there and back.

I had also never heard of “holiday pay” and note that this is no longer the norm either.

Apparently even back in 2001 long service leave entitlements totalled 16.5 billion dollars…now there’s a saving!

yeah but isn’t it a UK/european norm to give employees 6 weeks annual leave per year rather than 4 weeks? over 10 years it adds up to the same total leave as lsl in australia – but rather an advantage to not have to wait 10 years and stay with the same employer for it!

Madam Cholet 1:16 pm 09 May 12

Being from the UK I had never heard of long service leave before coming to live here almost 20 years ago. I am not unsupportive of the concept in general, but have to ask, really, is it something that should be phased out? Considering the origins of this enttlement, should it not be phased out or changed to better reflect the fact that today you can jump pn a plane and visit the “mother country”, it’s no longer going to take you 12 weeks to get there and back.

I had also never heard of “holiday pay” and note that this is no longer the norm either.

Apparently even back in 2001 long service leave entitlements totalled 16.5 billion dollars…now there’s a saving!

devils_advocate 4:39 pm 08 May 12

thehutch said :

In my role, it would have been impossible for me to gain long service leave as my employer changed 3 times in 10 years even though I continued to do the same work at the same location. This is a situation repeated all over the contracted service based industries.

Markets have a way of pricing these things into the equation. Contract based employees choose to engage in those roles. They know (or should know) the terms of service going in. The lack of LSL portability is priced into the wage offered by the employer.

The OP mentioned the likelihood that service providers will have to increase their price. But in a competitive market (we don’t know how competitive it is), it’s not always possible to increase prices. So they might have to reduce wages to contractors. Or some combination of the two.

thehutch 3:15 pm 08 May 12

The reason why cleaning & security industries have (and need) this scheme is ihat they are contract based industries and an employee, out of no fault of their own, may end up working for a different company at the same site at the end of a contract.

In my role, it would have been impossible for me to gain long service leave as my employer changed 3 times in 10 years even though I continued to do the same work at the same location. This is a situation repeated all over the contracted service based industries.

So whilst your point that people who change careers or study lose under the current system is valid, without long service leave portability, it is unlikely long serving security guards would ever obtain long service leave.

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