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May 28, 2021

Question from Scott Collins ([email protected])

We have a client who lectures at a University, however the subject this person lectures in is only offered in Semester II each year. This person has been employed on this basis for 20 years as a casual employee. Would they be entitled to Long Service Leave even though there is a break of serivice of approximately 6 months every year?

Hi Scott,

Sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to you, as we are currently dealing with a high volume of requests.

Long Service Leave (LSL) legislation in Australia is state-based. As a result, the answer to your query will be contingent upon your location and we are unable to assist you with specific legal advice.

By way of general advice, under most state LSL legislation, employees are entitled to take long service leave at any time after completing 7 years of continuous service for their employer. As to what constitutes “continuous service”, this is again dependant on the laws of the particular state. There are differences amongst state legislation as to which breaks in service will disrupt continuous service.

Under Victorian legislation, for example, interruption of an employee’s service of longer than 3 months that is caused by the seasonal nature of work does not break that employee’s continuity of service.

This is not provided for in all jurisdictions, so as a useful guide, I suggest that you refer to the ‘Long Service Leave’ chapter in the Portner Handbook. In this chapter, there is a comprehensive state-by-state summary of which breaks in service do not disrupt continuity of service. You can find this summary in the section called ‘How to determine whether there is continuity of service.’

Kind regards

Matthew Gough