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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Long service leave


     The information on this page applies to employees working in NSW only.

    What is long service leave?

    Employees who work for one employer for a particular length of time may be entitled to extra leave. This is called long service leave, or extended leave.

    In New South Wales, you are generally entitled to two months long service leave after working for the same employer for 10 years. You are entitled to an extra month of leave for every five years after that. This may be different if you are in another state or territory. If you work part time, you are still entitled to long service leave.

     If you are a casual employee, you may still be entitled to long service leave. You should get legal advice.

     Some industries, for example the building and construction industry and the contract cleaning industry, have different conditions that apply to long service leave. You should get legal advice if you are not sure about your long service leave entitlements.

    You should check your award, enterprise agreement or employment contract to see what your long service leave entitlements are.

    Icon - hint  To find out how much long service leave you might be entitled to, you can use the 'Long Service Leave Calculator' on the Industrial Relations website.

    When can I take it?

    You can take your long service leave as soon as you are entitled to it unless the needs of the business require you to postpone it. Your employer must give you a month's notice of the commencement date of your long service leave. 

    Long service leave is usually taken as one continuous period. However, if you and your employer agree, you can take it in two or more periods depending on how much long service leave you have.

    If you take long service leave, you should be paid:

    • your ordinary weekly pay as at the time just before you took long service leave, or
    • an average of your ordinary weekly pay over the previous five years,

    whichever is more. This will not include any overtime, penalty rates, allowances, bonuses or commissions.

    You should receive payment either when you start your leave or at the same time you would have received your normal pay if you had not taken the leave.

    What if I leave my job?

    If you have worked for your employer for 10 years or more and you are dismissed (sacked), resign, or are made redundant, you should be paid any long service leave that you haven't taken.

    If you have worked for your employer for more than five years but less than 10, you should be paid any long service leave you haven't taken:

    • if you are dismissed, unless you were dismissed because of serious misconduct, or made redundant
    • if you resign because of illness, incapacity or because of some other urgent or serious need.

    If you have left your job and you are not sure if you should be paid for unused long service leave, you should get legal advice.

    If you haven't been paid or you haven't been paid the right amount, there are steps you can take to try and recover the money that you are entitled to. For more information, see What if my entitlements are not paid?

     

      Case study - Alia

    Alia has been working as a full time receptionist for the same company for the last 15 years. Recently she found out that the company is closing down and she is going to lose her job.  

    Alia wasn't sure how much long service leave she is entitled to. After using the long service leave calculator on the NSW industrial relations website, she found out she is entitled to three months long service leave.

    Because the company was closing down, Alia was paid three months worth of long service leave as part of her final termination pay.