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Are You Entitled to Long Service Leave in the Mining Industry?

I often get asked about eligibility for long-service leave.

There seems to be a little bit of confusion surrounding this topic. 

Traditionally, long service leave applies to an employee who has been with the same employer for several years (typically 8-10).  

Depending on the industry, an amount of leave is available after that time.  For example, some industries provide 1.3 weeks of long service leave for each completed year of service.  After 10 years they are eligible for 13 weeks.

Of course, if you leave that employer prior to the 10 years, it’s unlikely any accrued amount will be paid out and in most cases, it’s not transferable to the next employer.

In the Coal Mining Industry, things are a little different.  In 1992, the Australian Government introduced the Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave) Administration Act. 

It’s a complicated piece of legislation.  However, the idea is to allow eligible employees to transport their accrued long-service leave from one employer to the next. 

Eligibility is based around length of service to the industry rather than length of service to an employer.  

If an employee has periods of qualifying service that add up to 8 years, then they are eligible for long service leave (there are a few other eligibility criteria). 

The amount of leave is calculated using a formula based on working hours. Click here  to view a copy of the legislation.

Importantly though, eligibility for this leave has nothing to do with your superannuation fund.  

I have had several enquiries from people believing that they are required to be a member of a specific superannuation fund or funds to maintain their eligibility for this leave.  This is simply not the case.  

Some super funds have previously been involved in the administration of the Act but this has nothing to do with eligibility.  

Where you choose to invest your superannuation is up to you.  For most people they can nominate a complying fund and have their employee pay into this fund.  This option was introduced by the government in 2005 and is called Super Choice.

What does this mean for Coal Mining Industry workers?

Put simply, you can choose investment options for your superannuation based entirely on your needs without being concerned about losing your eligibility for your long service leave.

Want to discuss this topic more or have a free review of your latest super statement? Let's chat on line, over coffee or phone.  Use my online calandar to make a time that suits you. 

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